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Despite Campaign Bumps, Some Segarra Supporters Unconcerned

Jeff Cohen
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, right, at a public hearing last year on the proposed minor league baseball stadium in Hartford.
The party's official nomination convention isn't until July.

It's been a rough few weeks for both the administration and reelection campaign of Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. But his supporters say there's a lot of time left before any votes are counted. 

Two weeks ago, Segarra fired his campaign manager after a series of political errors and a personal arrest made him expendable. Then, the mayor fired the next campaign manager before he really even started. Now, with four months before a crucial endorsement vote, Segarra still doesn't have a campaign manager.

Not only that, he doesn't really have a campaign website. Go to Segarra2015.com, and you won't see a picture, a policy statement, or even a series of mayoral accomplishments. All you'll see is an appeal for financial support. 

Add to that the fact that city hall is now embroiled in a high-profile nepotism discussion, and supporters could reasonably be concerned.

But they say they aren't.

"I don't see nothing wrong with the campaign," said State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez. She said Segarra's campaign staff just wasn't fit for the job. "I think it's better to find out now that they are not fit for the campaign, than maybe in the middle of the campaign . So, me personal? I think it's early."


State Rep. Edwin Vargas ran against Segarra four years ago. This year, he supports him.

"When you're talking about a Democratic convention that doesn't happen until the month of July, and he starts his campaign now, it allows for corrections to be made early before getting into the actual campaign," Vargas said.

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR
The Hartford Democratic Town Committee meets earlier this week, four months before it will gather to endorse a candidate for mayor.

And Alexander Aponte is the Democratic majority leader of the Hartford city council. He's not running again, and he's come out in support of Segarra when others on the council have yet to commit.

"This is what happens when you're the incumbent -- particularly when you have a number of opponents. In a sense, it's coming from all directions," Aponte said. "And, unfortunately, it goes with the territory."

The party's official nomination convention isn't until July. But the mayor's first real test comes next month, when candidates will file their campaign finance disclosures. And money is one of the best indicators of support.

Efforts to reach Segarra were unsuccessful.

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