J. Stan McCauley enters Hartford mayoral race Photo of Jonah Dylan Jonah Dylan March 7, 2023

HARTFORD — The mayoral field to replace Luke Bronin has grown to eight, as Access TV broadcaster and Hartford resident J. Stan McCauley filed paperwork to run for the position this week.

McCauley has run for mayor several times in the past, but he told Hearst Connecticut Media in a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday that he believes this time will be different.

“I think the traction will be good,” he said. “Because I think generally people understand that they were the ones that lost, not because of me personally, but because the focus on Hartford was never embraced. It’s always a focus of Hartford incorporated, not Hartford the people.”

McCauley is the eighth person to join the race, including Eric Coleman, Nick Lebron, Arunan Arulampalam, John Fonfara, Renardo Dunn, Tracy Funnye and Giselle Jacobs. Bronin announced late last year that he would not seek re-election after serving two terms as mayor.

McCauley said he was not planning to run again for mayor but has been “exceedingly disappointed” with the candidates in the race so far. While the candidates have mostly stayed away from attacks in the race at public forums and in interviews, McCauley had harsh words for many of them and said he would call them out at the next forum or debate.

He said he feels the race is wide open because there’s no incumbent running for re-election.

“After hearing all of the complaints and a cavalcade of individuals trying to get me to run, even though I said I wasn’t going to run, seeing the current offering that was there, and after a lot of conversations with my wife and the family, I decided that now would be the time. If it’s ever going to happen, it’ll be now.

McCauley won 8.47 percent of the vote in 2019, when Bronin won by a considerable margin in the general election after winning the Democratic primary. McCauley has previously run as a Republican and Independent but is now in the Democratic primary, which will be held Sept. 12. The general election will be held Nov. 7.

Though he’s entering the race after numerous forums and campaign events have taken place, McCauley has been active in the city’s political discourse. He hosts a morning talk show on Access TV and often films community events like forums and public meetings. He said he wants to focus his campaign on the people of Hartford, with a platform that will include a key emphasis on public safety, education and economic development.

“I haven’t lost a race yet,” McCauley said. “What I have failed to do is win.”

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