Sept. 11 , 2007
By Ken Krayeske • 11:05 PM EST
City Hall - same shot I've run before. I'm running out of Hartford images while I'm here in Bermuda. If you want a new image, check out the Eddie Perez gag below...
Editor's Update: It appears as if Matt Ritter was the highest vote getter among seven Democrat city council wanna-bees in Tuesday's Primary. Out of the six nominated by a paltry number of voters, Thom Page was the one left out.
Two wanna-be city councilors running in the Sept. 11 Democratic primary have contacted me recently, and asked me to write about them.
Assuming that City Council will have relevance in the future, I think it is worth noting that no incumbents contacted me, a sign which makes me think they take their positions for granted, or that the people who reached out to me are ambitious and think I matter more than I do.
Whatever the case, I want to respect Thom Page and Matt Ritter for trying to get their message out. I think it is a rare thing for a candidate to communicate directly with the press.
So a few days before the big primary, I want to delve and give them the space to communicate with the voters.
When Democrats go into the booth on Sept. 11, I think this is information to consider.
So, word for word, here is the note I received from Thom Page, a local lawyer who petitioned his way onto the ballot. Judge for yourself based on his words.
“Dear Ken: Looking forward to hearing from you re: the Hartford City Council race, particularly since the primary is only eleven days away and I am the only challenger who did it right (turned in 2,775 signatures and got more certified than anyone in the race, mayoral or otherwise, other than Art, who only beat me by 28 signatures and I’m only running for Council!).
“You might know that Eddie challenged my town committee four years ago and we beat him badly - he has never been back for seconds but also certainly wouldn’t ask me to dance at the convention farce. Anyway, we treated the signature drive as the first campaign and went to where we could locate Hartford residents(what a concept) - bus stops, grocery stores and the shelters, where I have represented people for years.
“We registered over 500 people as new city voters, most of them from the South Green area, which was a wonderful thing. Those folks aren’t asking for much, nothing some common sense, good judgment and belt tightening couldn’t squeeze out of a discombobulated (sp?) city budget.
“I have been in the shelters for years representing guys, and what we could save from one stupidly priced City administration sale of real estate could refurbish most of the shelters in one fell swoop! I could go on and on, but it would be fun to meet, share a coffee or whatever, etc. Let me know if this works for you.
“PS - Andy Hart is the only guy who got my story going in the print media, and he has been great. As you might know, I am not a politician, so go easy on me!”
Well, Thom, since you actually wrote me, I will publish it, because I won’t be able to do a phone interview from the North Atlantic.
But I won’t go easy on you, because as soon as you throw your hate in the ring to run for office, you are a politician. That being said, I’m impressed that you registered 500 voters, and that alone makes me want to vote for you.
Actions always speak louder than words.
Now Matt Ritter handwrote me a note back in late July seeking to meet to discuss the future of Hartford. Unfortunately, my schedule and geographic location has prevented me from meeting Matt, and for this, Matt, I must apologize.
And since I left the note in Hartford, and I am thousands of miles away, it will be difficult for me to print it verbatim as I did with Thom’s communique.
But basically Matt said he is passionate about Hartford’s future, and he has ideas for its improvement. I was impressed that he would take the time to contact me, but there was something ambitious about the note that felt like he was just trying to play the game (same as Thom above).
Once I perused the campaign contribution records at City Hall and saw that he has raised some $11,000 so far for his race, I realized that he is not just playing the game, he is in it to win.
I’m sure the fact that his last name is Ritter, like that of a former Speaker of the House of the Connecticut State Legislature helps that fundraising effort.
Does this note make me think Matt Ritter will be a good City Councilor? I don’t know. It makes me think he wants to get elected.
As for Mayor, vote your conscience. I don’t know if I will get my absentee ballot in time, so I still haven’t decided who I will vote for.
That’s such a cop-out, after all the reporting I’ve done on it. But it looks like in November, I will be able to select for multiple mayoral candidates on the ballot, so, stay tuned.