March 14, 2007
By DANIEL E. GOREN, Courant Staff Writer
State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez is expected to officially announce her candidacy for mayor of Hartford on Thursday.
Gonzalez plans to make her announcement at 4:30 p.m. at the Construction & General Laborers Union Hall at 475 Ledyard St. A longtime adversary of Mayor Eddie A. Perez, Gonzalez will join a growing field of challengers in the 2007 election.
Political insiders say Gonzalez presents a particular concern to Perez, as she can steal from his base by drawing away from him her usually steadfast group of supporters in the city's Puerto Rican community.
Gonzalez has represented Hartford's 3rd House District since 1996.
Gonzalez is one of five Democrats committed to challenging Perez. Also running are former state Sen. Frank D. Barrows, state Rep. Art Feltman, former Deputy Mayor I. Charles Mathews and political newcomer Raul De Jesus.
Those with knowledge of Hartford politics say Perez is seen at his weakest since he was first elected in 2001. That has prompted heavy competition as he fights for his party's endorsement and to win the Democratic primary.
Those critical of Perez say he has exposed himself politically by exploiting the power given to him under the city's new strong-mayor system, and by ostracizing those who disagree with him.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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