NEW BRITAIN – State Rep. Bobby Sanchez is officially running for mayor and his campaign will focus on education, city finance and various neighborhood inequities that have been neglected.
“I’m running for everyone in the New Britain neighborhoods that have been forgotten for decades,” Sanchez said. “The people supporting this campaign haven’t had a seat at the table in over eight years and have been shut out of leadership. It’s not public service if you aren’t serving all that represent the public. I’ll be a mayor that will always save a seat for you at the table.”
Sanchez, a Democrat, will challenge current Mayor Erin Stewart, a Republican, in the Nov. 2 election.
He is currently representing New Britain in the General Assembly and has been since 2011. He also serves as the chair of the state Education Committee.
Making his mayoral campaign official Tuesday with The Borinqueneers Monument serving as the backdrop, Sanchez shared he worked alongside many colleagues at the state level to secure funding to tell the Borinqueneers’ story.
The monument is a historical symbol of the valiant efforts and sacrifices of the 65th Infantry Regiment, which was formed in 1920, and served in a number of wartime efforts including World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
“We had to fight to get the funding to tell this story and today we have to fight to get funding for our future,” said Sanchez, stating current leadership has failed that future by flat funding education, perpetuating financial debt, and having an “abysmal response to the covid-19 pandemic.”
The city needs a leader who can make tough decisions, who doesn’t play the blame game, and who will be clear and transparent about issues, he said. “Public service is about meeting people where they are at, listening to their issues and working toward a common goal where everyone can access the resources they need and live a good life.”
“I am running to be that voice, fueled by hardworking residents and families who want to see New Britain prosper for all,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez was joined by state Sen. Rick Lopes, state representatives Peter Tercyak, Hilda Santiago, Geraldo Reyes and Emmanuel Sanchez, and alderpersons Francisco Santiago, Chris Anderson, Iris Sanchez, Aram Ayalon and Richard Reyes, and City Treasurer Ron Jacobowski and community members.
Francisco Santiago, council minority leader, said Sanchez understands what the community needs both on the state and local level, which are important perspectives to have.
“His resume speaks for himself. He’s been an advocate for the city, for education, early childhood education, parents and for the voiceless,” Santiago said. “He always has the city in mind whenever he makes decisions and advocates only for the betterment of the city.”
“I know he will bring voices for those who have been neglected and he will lead by example,” he said.
State Rep. Geraldo Reyes of Waterbury told The Herald he believes in Sanchez’s leadership, especially as a representative for minorities.
“I’ve worked with him for many years and this announcement is a long time coming,” he said. “The pandemic really showed the inequities that many minority communities face and how non-transparent processes can be. This is an important day for New Britain.”
For New Britain resident Elias Vazquez, 30, he supports Sanchez because he knows he will be the change the city needs.
“It would be a big step for New Britain if he became mayor,” he said. “As a state representative, he has brought a lot of money to the city and I hope he will continue to help with education, the homeless population and inspire kids to get off the streets and get more involved.”
Mayor Erin Stewart declined a request for comment by the Herald through her office regarding the announcement.
Contact Catherine Shen at firstname.lastname@example.org