Eric Crawford, a candidate for city council, has decided to withdraw from the race to spend more time with his family and because he has become disillusioned with the divisiveness of Hartford politics, he said.
"I think I've had a chance to watch real close how politics works in Hartford, and I truly don't have the stomach for it," Crawford said Thursday.
"If you are not part of the political machine and playing that game, you get shut out, regardless of whether you are the best candidate or have the best idea. To become part of that machine, at times you have to sell out, to become someone you're not comfortable with. I'm a pretty independent thinker, and I just didn't think it would be worth it."
Crawford, who is known for his work as an intervention specialist with the city's at-risk youths, said he believes he could do more good in the city by focusing on his community work.
In July, Crawford joined a group of Democrats in forming a challenge slate against the incumbent city council members. But the slate's attempt to unseat the incumbents fell short after it was disqualified from the September primary ballot for failing to gather enough valid signatures.
Crawford and several other members of that slate have been continuing their bid for council as part of a newly established Reform Party.
But Crawford said Thursday that he planned to file papers today with the city clerk withdrawing his name.
Politics, he said, was taking too much time from his family life.
"I've got a 10-year-old son, and what really got me was about two weeks ago I decided not to coach him in football," Crawford said.
"I don't want to be one of those guys who gets so involved in politics that I wake up one morning and I don't know who my kid is."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at