Barring Last-Minute Financial Windfall, Barrows Likely To Do Same On Monday
By DANIEL E. GOREN, Courant Staff Writer
September 22, 2007
State Rep. Art Feltman is no longer a candidate for Hartford mayor after filing a letter with the city clerk Friday asking that his name be withdrawn from the November ballot.
The campaign of another mayoral hopeful, former state Sen. Frank Barrows, remained on life support, and it will take some kind of financial miracle this weekend to keep him in the race, he conceded.
"I'm looking for $100,000 to $200,000, and if I get that, then I will be right smack in the middle of this thing," Barrows said Friday. "But if I don't get my $200,000 by the end of the weekend, then I probably will see the city clerk Monday."
Barrows has raised $6,700 to date.
Feltman and Barrows ran and lost in the city's Democratic primary on Sept. 11. In that race, Mayor Eddie A. Perez took 49 percent of the Democratic votes; former Deputy Mayor I. Charles Mathews took 29 percent; and Feltman and Barrows took 13 and 9 percent, respectively.
Feltman and Barrows said they have not decided which candidate to back in November. Both were still interviewing the remaining candidates before making that decision.
Feltman said he had met with several candidates to date, including state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, Republican candidate J. Stan McCauley and Mathews. Barrows said he has talked with Democrats only, including Perez, Mathews and Gonzalez.
"I think it is incumbent upon every candidate who wishes to see Perez defeated to unite behind the strongest contender and the person who would make the best mayor," Feltman said. "Those who don't want to see Perez re-elected collectively comprised 51 percent of the Democratic electorate. If we remain divided, Perez wins. If we unite, Perez loses."
No matter which candidate he chooses to back, Feltman said that, to be effective, his support could not be "in name only."
"It can't be a single press release and press conference, and then you go home," he said. "It has to be a singular and strenuous effort, just as we would have for our own campaign. And I'm prepared to make that effort. It will be Art out knocking on every door, as if he were the candidate."
Mathews, who is widely considered the most serious challenger to Perez, said it was encouraging to see the field of candidates narrowing.
"I think we all understand that if we want change in this city over the next four years, we have to narrow the field of candidates," Mathews said. "The more people running means that Mr. Perez has the advantage."
He said he hoped that Feltman and Barrows will support him.
"But that is a decision they have to make, along with their supporters," he said.
In the primary, Perez won convincing victories in Feltman's base - the city's 6th House District, which Feltman serves in the General Assembly.
Feltman said his campaign made a decision, which some critics say was a tactical error, to focus on other parts of the city and leave his base vulnerable.
Kenny Curran, Perez's campaign manager, said Friday he believed that Perez would continue to be strong in that district with Feltman out of the race.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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