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Field for Hartford's mayoral race starts taking shape

Former state legislator Eric Coleman officially announced his campaign for the office Wednesday morning.

HARTFORD, Conn. — After Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced Tuesday he will not run for a third term, candidates are stepping up for a chance at the office.

The field for this mayoral race might be taking shape, as former state legislator Eric Coleman officially announced his campaign for the vacancy Wednesday morning.

While Coleman is the first to throw his hat into the ring, he likely won’t be the last, as the pool of candidates continues to grow.

“I am excited to announce that I am officially a candidate for mayor of the city of Hartford,” Coleman said to a large crowd of supporters at the Artists Collective in Hartford Wednesday.

“I'm running because I care about Hartford,” he said. “I sincerely believe that I have the background insight and the experience to lead the city through whatever crisis may be.”

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Coleman served in the state legislature as a senator, representing the second district from 1995 to 2017.

He spent the past few years as a superior court judge, officially resigning from the bench just hours before his campaign announcement Wednesday morning.

“I have no aspirations for any other office. Being mayor of Hartford is not a stepping stone for me,” said Coleman. “I just want to be the mayor of Hartford, Connecticut, and to concentrate all of my focus on meeting the needs of Hartford residents, solving problems and effectively running the city.”

When asked if these comments were a swipe at any potential opponents, Coleman said no.

“I don't begrudge anybody, whatever ambition they have, they're free to pursue it, but for me, my focus is right here,” he continued.

The CEO of Hartford Land Bank and prior state treasury candidate Arunan Arulampalam is also said to be considering a run, but there’s yet to be official confirmation. 

Wednesday, Coleman felt confident about a likely primary, saying he would emerge victorious. 

“It's a political city and [Mayor Bronin] leaves a vacancy that I think a lot of people would like to fill,” Coleman said. “So I do expect that there will be others.”

Tuesday, Bronin also called Hartford a political town, suggesting multiple people will vie for his role.

“It's an open seat,” he said. “I suspect there's going to be a whole lot of people running for it and that's as it should be.”

Emma Wulfhorst is a political reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at ewulfhorst@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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