Erin StewartWhen Erin Stewart officially made her announcement to run for Mayor June 20 at the Whinstone Tavern she never imagined a crowd of well over 300 would be there to hear it.

“I didn’t realize so many people liked me,” she said to crowd that included both Democrats and Republicans.

But, they did and they were there to cheer every word she said.

In fact her father Tim Stewart commented that during his 4 terms in which he was Mayor, he never had a turn out like that.

“New Britain, I hope you can hear me loud and clear. My name is Erin Stewart. I have fresh ideas, I talk straight, and I want to be your next mayor,” said Stewart in her opening remarks to the crowd.

She told a story of her family which began with her great uncle, Democrat Dominic J. Badolato, who was instrumental in helping craft collective bargaining laws in the state.

“My story is the story of my uncle. He taught that politics should be about people, not the party. My family knows no partisan boundaries, and neither do I,” she said.

Her story included most of her family including her father, but perhaps the biggest part included our great City.

“My story is the story of New Britain! We are tough. We are determined. We are fearless. We are New Britain,” Stewart said. “My goal is to build back that New Britain pride. My goal is to build back our city’s reputation. My goal is to make this city – 73,000 people strong – a better place to live, to work, and to raise a family. And ladies and gentlemen….that starts from the top down.”

She told everyone to feel free to call her “Erin”, but instead the crowd said they would rather call her “Mayor” with chants of “Mayor”, “Mayor”, “Mayor” ringing through the room.

Stewart was born and raised in New Britain, attending public schools here in the City and graduating from Central Connecticut State University. Stewart has a decade of experience in volunteering, serving on the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative, the Race for the Park steering committee, and as a member of the Board of Education.

Stewart, a new generation Republican, is presently working at the State Capitol as a Legislative aide who was hired out of college by Kevin Kelly of Stratford.

“The past two years have seemed like a nightmare,” said Former Mayor Tim Stewart. “We have been held hostage by a group of carpet baggers in this City who came into power with the sole intention of seizing power to take care of their friends.”

He said this fall will be a wake up call for the people of New Britain.

“Continue to divide the people that you serve with higher taxes and an inability in trusting your elected leaders is a recipe for retirement for any politician,” said Tim Stewart. “That is coming soon for Tim O’Brien.”

In the crowd were several other top officials across the state.

State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd Dist), aged 24 is the youngest state senator in Connecticut. He said as a young guy he relies on older and wiser people at the capitol and one of those is Erin Stewart.

“Erin Stewart knows state government and she knows how to guide ideas through the legislative process to create laws that help everyone,” said Linares. “And Erin knows City government from the board of education to youth, and family and services. She knows the City and how to get things done. Her experience, new ideas and fresh perspective is what a City like New Britain really needs.”

Mark Boughton, Mayor of Danbury, said the relationship between Erin and her father Tim will be huge when making the tough decisions.

“On election night we are going to control the City of New Britain and the reason is because like Tim, Erin understands what it means to balance a budget. She gets it,” said Boughton. “You can’t spend more then you take in. She understands that you can’t bond money to buy textbooks. She gets it!”

Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham, who was the youngest mayor ever to be elected in the State of Connecticut at age 22 (he is now 30), also spoke June 20.

“It is evident in everything that she does that she loves New Britain,” said Bingham. “Erin is confident, intelligent and has the work ethic to do this job right. She knows how New Britain works and she knows what needs to be done to make it better for everyone.”