HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin announced Tuesday he will not seek a third term in office in 2023.

In the middle of the function room, Bronin listed his administration’s accomplishments over the past seven years and thanked Hartford residents and his family.

“To the people of Hartford, I will be forever grateful for this chance to do this work for the last seven years, and to my family, to my wife Sara and my kids; I can’t thank you enough,” Bronin said.

After nearly two terms and eight years in office, the 43-year-old said he’s proud of the hard work his team accomplished.

“When my team and I took office, our city was bankrupt, financially bankrupt, if not legally bankrupt,” Bronin explained.

Watch the press conference in its entirety in the video player below.

Bronin’s first task was gaining financial stability. He said he built partnerships with unions, private corporations, and legislative leaders.

“We did that work because we knew that if we didn’t get that right, then nothing else mattered,” he said.

Some of the visible accomplishments include a world-class baseball stadium, the development of vacant spaces, and new downtown apartments. On paper, reducing property taxes for the first time in decades and upgrading bond ratings are among the accomplishments.

Before becoming mayor, the Democrat served as Gov. Dan Malloy’s general counsel. In 2018, Bronin briefly considered a run for governor.

So, what’s next?

“I don’t know, but I’ve got a year to figure it out,” Bronin told News 8.

Bronin’s supporters watched from audience seats in the function room. Maly Rosado, city council president, said they were aware, and it is bittersweet.

“Our mayor is tough when he needs to be, but he’s also very compassionate,” Rosado said.

Shortly before his press conference, the mayor posted a social media video saying, “It’s time to pass the baton.” Watch it in the player below.

Who does Bronin think should take the baton?

“Hartford’s a political town,” Bronin said. “It is an open seat. I suspect there are going to be a whole lot of people running for it, and that’s as it should be.”

News 8’s Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina asked Rosado about her intentions.

“I have to ask because you’re a city council president. Do you think you might throw your hat into the race?”

“I have to figure that out,” Rosado said. “I am looking to see who is going to be running. As you know, this week, there will be a lot of announcements.”

Hartford’s Land Bank CEO Arunan Arulampalam is among those rumored to run for mayor.

“I care deeply about the future of Hartford and how we move our city forward,” Arulampalam said. “I expect to make an announcement about this race in the new year. “

News 8 has learned that former state senator Eric Coleman, a Superior Court judge, wants to run. He will have to resign from the bench before declaring his candidacy. So far, no letter has been received by the judicial department.

Reaction from lawmakers

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) called Bronin “one of Hartford’s most vocal advocates.”

“He has been an important collaborator with our administration, including on issues concerning housing, public health, increased access to quality education, and public safety,” Lamont said.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Bronin has been a “superbly inspiring and effective leader.”

“He has governed with insight and humanity in combining fiscal responsibility with improved services,” Blumenthal said. “Mayor Bronin has stood strong for public health and education during the pandemic’s most severe challenges. His record of courage and wisdom in Hartford should lead to future opportunities for leadership.”

Congressman John Larson (CT-01) said, “there has been no one more deeply involved and committed to the City of Hartford” than Bronin.

“During his time in office, there has been great progress to revitalize the city, support residents and small businesses during the pandemic, and restore people’s trust in government,” Larson said. “That is why Mayor Bronin has been recognized nationwide for his leadership.”