Courant Editor Breaks Down Municipal Races

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Rick Green, the political editor at the Hartford Courant, breaks down some of the bigger races going on during Tuesday’s municipal elections.

In New Britain, Democratic Mayor Tim O’Brien is trying to hold off Republican challenger Erin Stewart.

Stewart accuses O’Brien of secrecy and arrogance, says he’s fudged the budget numbers with back-room fund transfers and warns that the city is headed the wrong way.

O’Brien had defended his record, saying: “My administration is open and has taken steps to make information more accessible online and at city hall. I talk to residents every single day, and not just during scheduled office hours. As for what I’ve done to improve the transparency of our city government as a whole, I signed our city’s first ordinance that allows for public participation on special session dates.”

In Bristol, candidates Ken Cockayne and Chris Wilson differ on issues, but the overriding distinction is their belief about what the city needs most urgently.

Cockayne says the primary goal is to stop municipal spending because homeowners can’t afford more taxes; Wilson says years of penny-pinching have gone too far and jeopardize Bristol’s quality of life.

Mayor Art Ward is not running for re-election.

In New Haven, Democratic Sen. Toni Harp and independent candidate Justin Elicker are running for the mayoral seat being vacated by John DeStefano.

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