HARTFORD, Conn. — Hartford's Mayor Luke Bronin will not seek a third term.
The announcement was made Tuesday on social media, with Bronin sharing his thanks to the Hartford community in a video.
"This has not been an easy decision but it's the right one," Bronin said. "The most that any of us can hope for is do the work well and then pass the baton."
Bronin also addressed his announcement at a press conference in City Hall.
“It has been an extraordinary honor to serve the city that I love,” Bronin said at the conference. “I hope that over the last seven years, we have restored some confidence in the city of Hartford and in city government.”
Bronin, 43, was sworn in as the 67th mayor of the City of Hartford on January 1, 2016 after he beat incumbent Pedro Segarra in the 2015 race.
Bronin was reelected to a second term in the November 2019 election against former Mayor Eddie Perez.
Prior to becoming mayor, Bronin served in senior positions in both federal and state government. In 2013, he was appointed by then-Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to serve as General Counsel.
Bronin also served in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Bronin served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was a member of the military’s anti-corruption task force during his deployment to Afghanistan from September 2010 to April 2011.
Speaking about the career move Tuesday, Bronin called it tough. "It's a decision I wrestled with for a long time," he said. "If I could sign up for another two years right now, I'd probably do it, but having done seven, I'm not sure that I'm prepared to sign up for five more."
Bronin cited multiple accomplishments from his two terms Tuesday, like bringing the capital city back from near bankruptcy, powering through the COVID-19 pandemic, and rebuilding projects, especially housing.
“I love this city, I believe in this city," he continued. "I'm looking forward to continuing this work over the next year and then helping make sure that work continues for many years to come.”
Bronin credited his team for their support and hard work. Those working closely with him called Tuesday's announcement "bittersweet."
"A lot of us were hoping that he would run for another term," said Hartford City Council President Maly Rosado. "To say that I'm grateful for the mayor's leadership, partnership and friendship would be an understatement.”
Gov. Ned Lamont released a statement regarding the announcement, saying:
"Luke Bronin has been one of Hartford’s most vocal advocates and a dedicated supporter of the revitalization of the city and its growth. He has been an important collaborator with our administration, including on issues concerning housing, public health, increased access to quality education, and public safety. Hartford has benefitted from his public service as mayor and I wish him and his family the best in their next endeavors."
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) also shared a statement, writing:
"Mayor Luke Bronin has been a superbly inspiring and effective leader — bringing vigor and vision to a truly tough job. He has governed with insight and humanity in combining fiscal responsibility with improved services. Mayor Bronin has stood strong for public health and education during the pandemic’s most severe challenges. His record of courage and wisdom in Hartford should lead to future opportunities for leadership."
With one year still left in office, Bronin said his focus is doubling down on the work they’re already doing.
"There's a lot of work left to do, because there will always be a lot of work left to do," he added, "but I'm deeply grateful for the chance to have done this work.”
Bronin didn’t give any indication of where he’ll go from here and said he doesn’t have a future candidate in mind to fill the role.
“Hartford's a political town. It's an open seat," said Bronin. "I suspect there's going to be a whole lot of people running for it and that's as it should be.”
“Integrity, leadership, those are big, big shoes to fill when it comes to Mayor Bronin," Rosado said. "We'll see what the future holds and who will be putting their name out there and taking a run for mayor. I'm very excited.”
One of those possible names is former a state legislator and superior court judge Eric Coleman.
The Democrat is planning a press conference -- most likely to announce his candidacy -- Wednesday morning.
In an invitation to the event, he wrote, "After careful consideration of the challenges our community faces, and conferring with many friends and supporters, I have decided to make a special announcement about my commitment to the city of Hartford."
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