Hartford Democrats Endorse Candidates For State House, City Registrar Of Voters
By JENNA CARLESSO
May 24, 2012
HARTFORD —— Three Democratic candidates who are challenging incumbent state representatives and the city's registrar of voters won their party's endorsement Thursday.
Democrats endorsed Angel Arce, a member of the city's Democratic town committee, over state Rep. Kelvin Roldan, a three-term incumbent in the 4th Assembly District.
Edwin Vargas, who ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Pedro Segarra last year for the city's top job, won the endorsement over state Rep. Hector Robles, a two-term incumbent in the 6th District. Robles was fired from the Hartford Police Department in 2010 after an internal investigation concluded that he fabricated time cards to show he was on duty while working private jobs. Robles was charged in 2011 with two counts of first-degree larceny. His case is pending at Superior Court in Hartford.
Arce, a community activist, said Thursday that people in his district are ready for change. He said he had expected to win the endorsement.
"You knock on doors, and people don't know who their state representative is," Arce said. "My goal is to change that."
Blight, crime and poor housing conditions are some issues Arce said he would address if elected. He said his visibility in the community has helped him as a candidate.
"I'm a people person. Whether I'm campaigning or not, I'm walking the streets; I'm visiting people's houses," he said. "I'll never stop that."
Roldan said he would petition to get on the primary ballot.
"I do my job. I've represented my city very well," Roldan said Thursday. "I've delivered on every promise I've made to this community, and I plan to continue to work for the people of Hartford."
Ramon Arroyo, who is married to state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, D-Hartford, won the endorsement for the city's Democratic registrar of voters over incumbent Olga Vazquez. He also beat out candidates Kelly Kirkley-Bey and Charmaine Waul.
Vazquez said she didn't expect to get the endorsement but she still plans to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot and continue her campaign efforts.
"There's a lot of new players [on the town committee], and they don't fully understand the process," she said. "I believe my work speaks for itself. I hope everyone follows their hearts and does what's best for Hartford."
Some town committee members criticized Arroyo's endorsement, noting his criminal record. Arroyo was charged in 1992 with patronizing a prostitute and later was granted a special form of probation.
He said Thursday that he decided to run for the seat after years of working "behind the scenes."
"I think many people knew me in this community for many, many years, and now I'm putting my name forward," Arroyo said. "But this is only the beginning of the process."
Democrats also endorsed incumbent state Reps. Matthew Ritter, Gonzalez and Douglas McCrory for the 1st, 3rd and 7th District seats, respectively. All three were unopposed Thursday.
On Wednesday, city Republicans endorsed incumbent Salvatore Bramante for Republican registrar of voters. They also endorsed Kenneth Lerman for state representative in the 1st District, Rico Dence for state representative in the 4th District, Michael Lupo for state representative in the 6th District and Colleen Rankine for state representative in the 7th District. They have not yet endorsed a candidate for state representative in the 3rd District.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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