In a surprise move, State Representative Evelyn Mantilla (4th District) announced Tuesday that she will not be seeking re-election. Mantilla has represented the 4th District on Capitol Hill for close to a decade.
In a statement issued by Mantilla Tuesday, she said she is not seeking re-election in order to “begin a new chapter in my life.”
Mantilla’s seat is being sought by Kelvin Roldan, Director of Community Initiatives for Mayor Eddie Perez, and Angel Arce, Director of Community Relations for Park Place Health Center and former Chair-man of the Hartford Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners.
In the statement in which she announced that she will not be running, Mantilla asked her supporters to back Roldan, saying, “he will go above and beyond the call of duty to serve you. I am asking that you support him as he embarks on a new path to serve the 4th district.”
Arce formally announced his candidacy for State Representative last Thursday, May 4. Over 100 people attended the event, which was held at Azucar Restaurant on Franklin Avenue.
Among those on hand were former City Council members Eugenio Caro and Yolanda Castillo. Caro praised Arce as a man who can raise the visibility of the 4th District and who has the proven ability to bring needed change to the impoverished district.
Arce tapped into the latter point in his own speech, saying, “the 4th Assembly District is the poorest in the state and needs new leadership to solve the problems its residents face.” He said increased visibility, affordable housing and economic development would be the the three key themes of his campaign.
While Mantilla was seen by most as a political ally of Mayor Perez, Roldan has even stronger ties to the mayor and has served on his staff for several years.
Roldan and Arce will square off in a Democratic Primary on August 8. The District is overwhelmingly Democratic so the winner of the primary is virtually guaranteed to win the seat itself in November.