McCrory, Rankine Face Off In Hartford's 7th House District Race
Democrat McCrory, Seeking 5th Term, Is Running Against GOP Newcomer
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
October 08, 2012
HARTFORD — — Four-term Democratic incumbent Douglas McCrory is facing Republican newcomer Colleen Rankine in next month's election to represent the 7th House District, which includes the Asylum Hill and Blue Hills neighborhoods.
If re-elected, McCrory, 46, vice chairman of the legislature's education committee, said he will focus on improving services for adolescent urban males, such as more employment opportunities and changes to the juvenile justice system.
"That's a population in danger," McCrory said. "It's really at a point where we're letting a whole demographic fall apart in the state and there's no public outcry over it."
Rankine, 30, a clinical supervisor for a Hartford nonprofit, described herself as someone outside the political establishment "who is willing to learn new ideas." She moved to Hartford from Jamaica at age 10, graduated from Weaver High School and said she will turn a sharp eye to how the state provides social services.
"Are we paying attention to how grants are implemented?" Rankine said. "Are they results-based?"
Rankine said she got into politics last year when Republican Sweets Wilson asked her to volunteer for Wilson's unsuccessful campaign for city council. Hartford's GOP town committee endorsed Rankine for the two-year seat; McCrory previously ran unopposed in 2008 and 2010.
Rankine conceded that McCrory is favored to win the staunchly Democratic district, but considers her run "a great experience" that will "definitely start to set my goals very high for the next election." Rankine said she also wants to get younger people excited about politics and the importance of voting.
McCrory — a vice principal at the Public Safety Academy in Enfield, a Capitol Region Education Council magnet school — said this year's spotlight on education reform "was just a start." He called for a bigger push in the state to hire minority teachers and administrators, which he believes can have a positive impact on student achievement.
"It's 2012," McCrory said. "When you say you don't even have double-digit diversity, that's a shame."
A public forum for candidates running for Hartford legislative seats is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St. The Hartford Votes/Hartford Vota Coalition will have Spanish translation available.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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