McGee Sworn In As Representative From Hartford, Windsor
By STEVEN GOODE
January 09, 2013
HARTFORD —— As a freshman in college, Brandon McGee's dream was to someday be the mayor of Hartford.
While that may be in the cards one day, McGee willl be spending at least the next two years working for a different legislative body a short distance west of city hall, serving as Windsor and Hartford's state representative from the redrawn 5th House District.
McGee, 28, wasn't expected to really contend in his first run for political office. Windsor was given a decided poplutation advantage as a result of federally mandated redistricting, and McGee was going up against Leo Canty, a longtime political insider and the chairman of the Windsor Democratic Town Committee. Windsor's popular Mayor Donald Trinks was also competing in the Democratic primary for the open seat.
"I said 'I'll give this one my best shot and get to know the key players,' " McGee said earlier this week.
But – after two recounts, a lawsuit and a second primary – McGee defeated Canty by a comfortable margin.
"I always knew it was bigger than me," he said. "There's a lot of people whose shoulders I stood on."
McGee said now he wants to focus on helping both communities get what they need from the legislature.
He has scheduled town hall meetings in Windsor and Hartford in an effort to get a better understanding of what his constituents see as the key issues, and he said he wants to work with political leaders and the town committees in both towns. He also plans to encourage people to visit him at the capitol.
"They gave us these offices to meet, come on up," he said.
He also hopes to learn from political veterans, such as state Reps. Matt Ritter and Doug McCrory and state Sen. Eric Coleman.
In the short term, McGee, who will serve on the legislature's judiciary, human services and labor and public employees committees, said he expects to run for re-election in 2014. In the long term, he envisions possible runs for Congress or governor.
But on Wednesday, McGee was basking in the feeling of having just been sworn in as the 5th District's state representative.
"There was a real burst of energy, but we're going to get right to work, so I better enjoy this now," said McGee, who was joined by his mother, other friends and family, former Hartford City Councilman Steve Harris and Windsor Police Chief Kevin Searles for the swearing-in ceremony.
Harris, the spokesman for Hartford's 5th District Democratic Committee, said McGee's supporters will continue to be there for him going forward, but added that they also "intend to let him know when we think he can do better."
Harris added that he looked forward to working with his Democratic counterparts in Windsor.
"If we're going to have a strong 5th, we're going to need to work together," Harris said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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