HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — With Luke Bronin not running for a third term as the mayor of Hartford, a second candidate has thrown his hat into the ring.

City Councilman Nick Lebron was born, raised, and educated in Hartford.

“My mother and father came from Puerto Rico years ago,” Lebron said. “Landed in the North End of Hartford, and I’ve been here ever since.”

The Democrat is the operations manager and community partnerships manager for Catholic Charities, working primarily in schools.

“Being involved in social work, you end up facing a lot of policy issues and a lot of glass ceilings,” Lebron said.

Which is why he ran for Hartford City Council three years ago. Lebron’s background with Catholic Charities made him an obvious choice to head the City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. He took that position just before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“We were able to be the lead on testing, on closing down the schools, on vaccines,” Lebron said.

The pandemic is one of the biggest challenges facing every city. The other is violent crime. The Capitol City just had its 39th homicide of the year Wednesday morning. How would Lebron tackle gun violence as mayor?

“I think it’s layered,” he said. “I think it’s intentional work in the neighborhoods. I think it’s relationship building with police, and I think it’s focusing on policy.”

Violent crime is what former state senator and judge Eric Coleman said was the reason he jumped into the mayor’s race three weeks ago. Lebron said his background makes him the better choice.

“I’ve been helping families and helping my community since I was 18 years old, and at every level, have had success,” Lebron said. “Having the mayor’s office will allow me to do more with more.”

Lebron has already filed his paperwork with the city and plans a formal campaign announcement soon.