HARTFORD -- Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin says he has decided not to run as a Democratic candidate for governor.
Bronin announced Monday he is ending his exploratory committee and will "stay focused on my work as mayor."
The announcement comes amid criticism from some gubernatorial candidates and other politicians about an agreement to have the state of Connecticut pay off $550 million of Hartford's debt over the next 20 years to help the struggling city avoid bankruptcy. Some state lawmakers want to scale back the agreement.
Bronin says he doesn't want his status in the 2018 governor's race "to be a reason for people to condemn or politicize" the agreement and he "cannot let Hartford's future become the casualty of a political fight."
Bronin says he's excited to keep working for Hartford.
Democratic State Party Chair Nick Balletto said in a statement, “Luke Bronin has been a progressive voice for Hartford and the state of Connecticut throughout his career and I’m grateful for what he brought to the conversation in the Democratic primary."