April 5, 2007
By Andy Hart • Courtesy of the Hartford News • 12:00 AM EST
In Hartford, with its overwhelming majority of Democratic voters, the Republican nomination for mayor is much like a ticket on the Titanic: fun while it lasts but eventually doomed to sink beneath waves of Democratic voters.
They thought the same way in New Britain – and Democratic inertia and internal bickering led to the election of Republican Tim Stewart in a city almost as overwhelmingly Democratic as Hartford.
Can the same thing happen in Hartford? Republican Stan McCauley thinks so. Back in February, McCauley formally announced he is seeking the Republican nomination for mayor.
When asked about his chances, McCauley said he is "In it to win...I'll play to the whole city. I want to win by a landslide."
He pointed out that Governor Jodi Rell pulled about 4,500 votes in Hartford in the last election even though she is a Republican.
McCauley said if he could pull down a similar number of votes, it would probably be enough to win the election, depending on voter turn-out and how many candidates are still in the race on Election Day in November.
The list of those running for Mayor this year seems to grow on an almost weekly basis. In addition to State Representative Art Feltman, former Deputy Mayor I. Charles Matthews and former State Senator Frank Barrows, State Representative Minnie Gonzalez has also formally announced her candidacy for Mayor and former Mayor Thirman Milner is forming a committee to look into making a run for the city's top spot.
Although this is his first run for office, McCauley is already a familiar face to many city residents as the host of "Light Source Victory Television," a daily program on Hartford Public Access TV.
McCauley is also President and CEO of Hartford Public Access TV. Raised in Pennsylvania, he said he first visited the Hartford area in 1979 and "knew then and there that this was the place I wanted to be."
McCauley said he is running because, "Hartford is on the edge of turning the corner but we need a different approach in management style. The current style is polarizing, to say the least."
McCauley went on to say that, "The state of Hartford finances are at a crisis-level and no one seems to have an answer." If elected, he said he would immediately convene an economic summit involving financial experts, union leaders and other authorities.
"By the end of the weekend, we should have something to work with," he said.
McCauley also wants to reach out across the country and even around the world for people with good ideas for businesses to come to Hartford. "We've got to put out the word, ‘If you say you'll come to Hartford, we'll help you make it work,'" he said.