Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced on Monday that he’s ending his exploratory committee for governor of Connecticut.
Bronin, a 38-year-old lawyer who used to be a legal adviser to Governor Malloy, says he made the decision in order to stay focused on his work as mayor of Hartford.
This comes after the capital city reached a controversial $550 million bailout deal with the state in order to avoid bankruptcy. That deal has been criticized by state lawmakers and some of Bronin’s political rivals, who want to scale back the agreement.
One of those rivals is Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who’s still in the race for governor. He claims the bailout, which involves a state takeover of the capital city’s debt payments for the next 20 years, is unfair to other Connecticut cities.
Bronin says he got out of the race because he doesn’t want the city’s financial woes to be politicized and because he doesn’t “want people taking shots at Hartford in order to take shots at me.”
Also on Monday, Bronin handed in his proposed municipal budget for fiscal year 2019. He said the budget contains no new borrowing for capital investments and that the city will spend about $2.3 million less in operating costs than it did this fiscal year. Just a few days earlier, on Friday, the ratings agency Standard and Poor's upgraded the city's bond rating from CCC to A.
“This is a capital city that has an opportunity today to move toward real long-term sustainability and strength,” Bronin said.
The mayor did not endorse another gubernatorial candidate. He says whoever the next governor is, he hopes that person will be an ally to his city and that the future of Hartford “depends very much on having a governor who gets it.”
Bronin won’t say whether he’ll run for governor in the future or if he’ll seek another term as the mayor of Hartford.