Kenneth Kennedy appears to have lined up the votes necessary to become the city council's next president.
Kennedy, who has served on the council for 10 years, has the support of four fellow Democrats — Alexander Aponte, David MacDonald, Raul DeJesus and Kyle Anderson, according to people familiar with the process. Including himself, Kennedy has the five votes needed to become president after the nine-member council is sworn in on Jan. 3.
Kennedy declined to comment Wednesday, saying discussions among the Democrats were ongoing.
Democrat Shawn Wooden, 42, a lawyer and council newcomer, has lined up four votes. The three minority party council candidates elected last week — Luis Cotto, Cynthia Jennings and Larry Deutsch, all members of the Working Families Party — have agreed to support Wooden for council president, sources said.
Wooden initially ran against Mayor Pedro Segarra, but took himself out of the race in June, announcing he'd run for city council, instead.
Wooden has said he would seek a leadership role on the council, but wouldn't say what role.
Cotto said the Working Families Party hasn't been included in Democratic caucus discussions about the council presidency.
"We reject any candidate or any process that doesn't include all nine council members in selecting a president," Cotto said Wednesday. "The president is someone who is supposed to represent all nine members and hence, should be decided by all nine members."
Wooden declined to comment Wednesday.
Kennedy, 46, was elected to the council in November 2001. He previously served as chairman of the council's education committee and is now chairman of the operations, management and budget committee, a position formerly held by Segarra. He works as an assistant attorney general.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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