NEW BRITAIN -- In a Facebook live announcement, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart is running for governor. Stewart, 30, is a Republican and is in her third term as mayor.
Stewart became the youngest mayor in New Britain history when she defeated a Democratic incumbent in 2013 at age 26. She has won re-election twice in the largely Democratic city.
On Monday on Facebook Live she said she has opened an exploratory campaign.
She said in her announcement that she is not going to fit neatly into any political ideology.
"I am fiscally conservative, I am pro-choice, I have a gun permit, I support responsible gun ownership," she said. "Connecticut is in crisis mode and we need leaders who understand that we must change the way we do business. We need leaders who are able to bring together diverse perspectives and backgrounds to make difficult choices in order to get our state moving forward once again. We've become too fixated on the negatives."
A growing number of candidates are weighing whether to run for governor in November. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, is not seeking re-election.
Some of her potential competitors filed paperwork to run for governor, and others have formed exploratory committees for statewide office which could include governor or other positions.
Senator Toni Boucher: Republican
Boucher has filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee for statewide office. She filed May 3. Boucher told FOX61, at the minimum the exploratory committee allows her to run again for her seat, but she is open to considering higher office, including the office of Governor. Boucher did make run for Governor in 2014, but dropped out.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton: Republican
Boughton is currently Danbury‘s Mayor. He has run for Governor twice before, in 2010 and 2014. He officially announced his campaign on Jan. 9.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin: Democrat
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has decided to form an exploratory committee.
Sean Connolly: Democrat
Former State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly announced his campaign for governor in January.
Bridgeport Joe Ganim: Democrat
The Mayor was a candidate for governor in 1994 and ended up becoming the democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor that year. He was Mayor of Bridgeport from 1991-2003, until he resigned after he was convicted on felony corruption charges. Ganim spent seven years in jail. He then decided to run again to get his old job back and won the seat in November 2015. He has filed for an exploratory committee for Governor, and officially announced in early January.
Oz Griebel: Independent
Griebel, longtime head of the Hartford Metro Alliance, is running as an independent candidate.
Bethy Guiles-Smith: Democrat
Guiles-Smith is from Glastonbury. On Twitter @MsGuiles describes herself as a community organizer. She has filed paperwork to run for Governor.
Michael Handler: Republican
Stamford’s director of administration skipped the exploratory phase and formed a candidate’s committee, according to his filing with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. He has worked under two mayors, one Republican and one Democrat, and says he has “practical experience in solving fiscal problems.”
Jonathan Harris: Democrat
Harris is the former Commissioner of Consumer Protection in Connecticut. He recently stepped down so he could explore a run for office after working in the Malloy administration. He has stated he is interested in running for Governor and has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee.
Tim Herbst: Republican
Herbst was Trumbull’s First Selectman. He has run before for State Treasurer but lost in a close race in 2014.
State Sen. Tony Hwang: Republican
Currently State Senator in Fairfield, Hwang hasn’t come out and said which office he is interested in. He has formed an exploratory committee for statewide office.
Mark Lauretti: Republican
Lauretti is currently Shelton’s Mayor, and has been for more than 25 years. He has filed paperwork to run for Governor.
Ned Lamont: Democrat
Lamont, who ran against Joe Lieberman for Senate in 2006, is running.
Peter Lumaj: Republican
Lumaj is a Fairfield Attorney, candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012, and the 2014 Republican nominee for Secretary of the State. Lumaj filed paperwork to run for Governor (he previously had an exploratory committee).
Eric Mastroianni: Republican
Mastroianni is a veteran who wants to enhance trade program for high school students. He wants to cut spending and corporate taxes.
Chris Mattei: Democrat
Mattei is a former federal prosecutor, involved in the Rowland case. He has said he is considering a run for Governor and has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee. He has since decided to run for Attorney General.
Scott Merrell: Republican
Merrell is a resident of Norwalk. He ran unsuccessfully for Norwalk Mayor twice and had an eviction incident back in 2010. He has filed paperwork to run for Governor, signing up in 2018.
Anthony Moran: Republican
Moran’s previously ran against Democratic State Rep. Matt Lesser in Middletown and lost. Right now it’s unclear what office he is seeking. He has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee for statewide office.
Steve Obstinik: Republican
Obstinik is a Westport businessman. He ran against U.S. Rep. Jim Himes but lost in 2012. He is a Navy veteran.
State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan: Republican
Srinivasan is a republican representing Glastonbury. He is also an allergist. Srinivasan has filed paperwork to run for Governor.
Bob Stefanowski: Republican
Stafanowski has had a career in finance. He declared his candidacy in September.
Linda Szynkowicz: Republican
Szynkowicz is a resident of Middletown. She has filed paperwork for an exploratory committee for statewide office, but it is unclear what office she is seeking.
Joe Visconti: Republican
Visconti ran unaffiliated to a political party in the 2014 gubernatorial race with Tom Foley and Governor Malloy, despite his republican roots. Toward the end of the race he dropped out and endorsed Foley. He has filed paperwork to run for Governor as a Republican.
Dave Walker: Republican
Walker lost primary in 2014 for Lt. Governor, voters chose Heather Somers (who is now a state senator) to run with Tom Foley in 2014. Former U.S. Comptroller General under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Micah Welintukonis: Republican
Welintukonis is a veteran who was injured by a suicide bomber while deployed in Afghanistan. He is also a former Coventry Town Councilman. He has filed paperwork to run for Governor.
On May 1st 2017, Welintukonis said he’s decided to withdraw from Connecticut’s Citizen Election Program. “I will not use taxpayers’ dollars to fund my campaign. I’m leaving it up to the voters to decide who they would like to contribute to.”
L. Lee Whitnum: Democrat
Whitnum is a resident of Greenwich, and a former U.S. Senate Candidate. On her website, Whitnum has a “15 Step Plan to Clean up the Connecticut Judiciary”. She’s had some legal issues in the past including an arrest at a library and she filed a slander lawsuit against Gov. Malloy. She has filed paperwork to run for Governor.
Jacey Wyatt: Democrat
Wyatt is a Branford businesswoman, and the first transgender candidatefor Governor in Connecticut. She has filed paperwork to run for Governor.