Segarra Wins First Full Term; Working Families Takes 3 Council Seats
Hartford City Council Will Have No Republican Members
November 09, 2011
Mayor Pedro Segarra, as expected, trounced three petitioning candidates Tuesday to win his first full term in office, and candidates from the Working Families Party won all three minority representation seats on the council, leaving no Republicans on the council.
Segarra, a Democrat, was council president when he was appointed mayor in June 2010 after the conviction of Mayor Eddie A. Perez on corruption charges.
Segarra easily defeated Edwin Vargas, a member of the city's planning and zoning commission, J. Stan McCauley, a local television entrepreneur, and the Rev. Patrice Smith.
The union-backed Working Families Party picked up one seat and pushed Republicans right off the council. Winning the election were incumbents Luis Cotto and Larry Deutsch and newcomer Cynthia Jennings.
"It shows a lot about our progress in the city and the faith people have in us to be an adequate party with accountability," said Cotto, the council minority leader.
Jon Green, the party's executive director, said the three candidates tried to connect with city voters.
"They had to work for it, not just through a hard campaign, but through working on issues that matter to the people of Hartford. I think it's a step forward for Hartford. There's a lot of momentum for the Working Families Party in the city and we're going to build on that," he said.
Segarra, celebrating in a tumultuous Elks Club on Prospect Street, acknowledged that he was a heavily favored to win, but said he was surprised at the ultimate margin of victory.
"I was confident that I was in a strong position, but I didn't know that the support would be so incredible," Segarra said. "It shows the community is placing trust in us to build a better city."
Six Democrats won the other available seats on the council: incumbents Kenneth Kennedy and Alexander Aponte and newcomers Raul DeJesus Jr., Shawn Wooden, David MacDonald and Kyle Anderson.
In a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 18 to 1, Democrats have had a lock on six seats on the council. The remaining three seats traditionally went to Republicans.
But the equation changed in 2009 when the Working Families Party captured two of those seats, leaving the Republicans only one.
Altogether, six Democrats, four Working Families Party candidates, three Republicans and three petitioning candidates ran for the nine available council seats.
Democrat Adam Cloud defeated Michele Hoff Fryar, a Republican, and Lawrence Davis, a petitioning candidate, to become city treasurer.
Additionally, with 16 of 23 voting districts reporting, voters appeared to approve the rescission of pay raises for the city council set to take effect next year. City council salaries were set to rise from $15,000 to $26,650.
Both Vargas and McCauley said Tuesday that they were happy with their campaigns.
"I think we did very well. It was a very good campaign," Vargas said. "I think the issues that I was championing resonated with people." Those included improving city schools, a lack of confidence in city leadership following Perez's conviction and the struggles of the city's small businesses, he said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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