3 Hartford Mayoral Candidates Face Off on Debate Stage

Primary day is less than two weeks away and in Hartford, Mayor Luke Bronin is battling for a second term.

On Thursday he faced off in a debate against three other democrats in the race.

Several of them criticized Bronin, including for being too focused on certain areas of the city and leaving other areas behind.

The mayor pushed back and also went on the attack.

Bronin laid out what he sees as his accomplishments, including tackling the city’s budget crisis, and then quickly took aim at former Mayor Eddie Perez.

“You did balance budgets. But you balanced budgets by raising taxes, year after year after year,” said Bronin.

Perez defended his time as mayor and says his agenda is the people of Hartford.

He also offered an apology before Bronin brought up a city contractor scandal which eventually led to Perez resigning as mayor in 2010.

“For the last 45 years I’ve served in public life. I made one mistake. I regret that mistake. I’ve asked you forgive me and I ask you give me a second chance,” said Perez.

On Thursday, the candidates explained their plans for improving education, reducing crime and revitalizing areas of the city.

The Democratic primary also includes State Representative Brandon McGee.

“I know Mr. Perez has had his opportunity. Mr. Bronin, he’s had his opportunity. Now is the time for the residents to have someone who really understands but also takes an innovative approach,” said McGee.

Also running for mayor is J. Stan McCauley, who says he has a five-point plan to realign the city.

While he’s a Democrat, he’s not in the primary because he was cross-endorsed by the Republicans.

“I can’t imagine anything doing anything other than being mayor of Hartford. It would be the primo dream job,” said McCauley.

The primary is set for September 10, and then whoever wins that moves on to the general election in November.

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