January 31, 2019

Meet the five candidates registered for Hartford's mayoral race

Photo | House Democrats
Photo | House Democrats
State Rep. Brandon McGee
HBJ Photo | Matt Pilon
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announces his campaign for a second term in front of City Hall.
Photo | McCauleyformayor.com
J. Stan McCauley plans to detail his policy agenda at a series of local events beginning in February.
Photo | Hartford Public Schools
Craig Stallings has served on the Hartford Public Schools board since 2013.
Photo | Facebook via Aaron Lewis
Aaron Lewis is the founder of Hartford's The Scribe’s Institute Inc.

The race to become Hartford's 67th mayor is heating up, with at least four candidates slated to square off against incumbent Luke Bronin.

The city's town clerk on Wednesday afternoon said five Democrats filed paperwork seeking the mayoral seat. They include: Bronin; State Rep. Brandon McGee; Hartford Public Schools board chair Craig Stallings; television entrepreneur J. Stan McCauley; and author and entrepreneur Aaron Lewis.

Bronin, who briefly flirted with a run for governor last year, a week ago announced his bid for a second term at City Hall, branding his candidacy as a means to continue the city's forward momentum.

The 39-year-old, who previously served as general counsel to former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, also touted his ability to improve the city's financial status. He took credit for getting the state to assume $550 million of the city's debt and securing $50 million in donations from insurers Aetna, Travelers Cos. and The Hartford to help balance the city's budget.

Bronin's reelection bid will be met by a diverse group of challengers.

As of Wednesday, here are the other four candidates registered for the mayoral race:

State Rep. Brandon McGee: The Hartford native currently represents the 5th House District covering parts of Hartford and Windsor. McGee serves as chairman of the legislature's Housing Committee and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.

Professionally, he is chief creative officer of the McGee Firm in Hartford, which provides strategic planning and message consulting to clients in private, public and educators sectors.

McGee, 34, earlier this week announced his candidacy for mayor outside his former home in the north end of Hartford. As mayor, he said he would work to improve the city's housing market and advocate for economic development opportunities, especially in the city's north end.

J. Stan McCauley: The local television entrepreneur was the first to declare his bid for mayor in November. McCauley has rolled out a "5 point plan" to refocus the city on youth and education, transparency, public safety, partnerships with stakeholders outside the city and economic development.

McCauley is slated to detail his policy strategies during a series of local events between Feb. 21 and June 13, according to his website.

Craig Stallings: The Hartford school board chairman, who registered for the race on Jan. 3, has pledged to raise money for local homeless programs and to support retired workers through higher pension contributions.

"The city was bailed out but can't find three million dollars for pensioners," Stallings said in a post on Facebook. "Together we can support our retirees!"

Stallings, a father of three children in the local school system, has served on Hartford's school board since 2013. His current term ends in 2021.

He is also the co-owner and marketing manager for the Stallings Tax Service in Hartford, which debuted in 2006, according to Hartford Public Schools.

Aaron Lewis: The author and entrepreneur declared his run for mayor in December via Facebook. Lewis is the founder of Hartford-based The Scribes Institute Inc., which focuses on literacy, language and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Also on Facebook, Lewis said several issues are plaguing the Capital City. They include "one of the highest failing school districts" in the U.S., a depleted economy, a high tax rate, a slowly growing housing market and an under supported police force.

Local businesses of all sizes, he said, are also under supported and often forced to relocate.

Hartford's mayoral field still has time to grow with the primary election slated for Sept. 10 and the general election set for Nov. 5.

There are 69,531 total registered voters in Hartford, the city's Register of Voters office said Thursday.

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