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New Britain Mayor’s race heats up with new and familiar names

NEW BRITAIN -- The New Britain Mayor’s race is heating up.

There’s a familiar name in the race, along with a brand new one. Incumbent Republican Mayor Erin Stewart has been in office for six years. For her Democratic Challenger, Christopher Porcher, it would be his first run for public office.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced on social media Monday that she’s running for re-election. Her 4th two-year term.

“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done Matt and I’m not ready to give this up yet,” said Mayor Stewart. The Republican told Fox 61 her priorities.Transforming downtown, creating New Britain as a place where families want to live, where businesses want to grow.”

Mayor Stewart faced early criticism in her career when the Rock Cats left the city.

That was really in my first year as mayor if you want to talk about a defining moment of a career and how to handle a baseball team leaving a city and trying to reinvent itself.”

And recently, when her father, former Mayor Tim Stewart made offensive social media comments.

I think the whole situation with my father is not even an issue at this point. We’re two different people,” said Stewart.

Mayor Stewart briefly ran for Governor before dropping out to run for Lieutenant Governor.

It’s important to get your feet wet and test the water in other places. Was that for me at the time? No. Will it be in the future, I don’t know. And I’ll never rule that out.”

She faces a Democratic challenger named 28-year-old Christopher Porcher, a political newcomer. He is a lifelong resident with experience in managing a non-profit.

I feel like in politics we are losing what it actually means. To me it means to serve people and put people first and that I do have experience in,” said Porcher.

He says he’ll focus on education, growing the economy, property taxes and social equality.

I’m looking to unite all of our people no matter what race, class or gender and also acknowledging our forgotten. Our homeless population and individuals struggling with mental health and addiction,” he explained.

The Democratic Town Committee won’t officially nominate a candidate until July, but Porcher is widely thought to already have unanimous backing from the committee.

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