NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart is fresh off maternity leave and back at City Hall. In her first television interview since becoming a mom, she shares some big plans.
Mayor Stewart, 33, was pregnant at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She took a six-week break from City Hall to bond with her daughter, Lina.
“I had to drop Lina off at grammy and grampy’s this morning and it’s nerve-wracking,” she told News 8’s Samaia Hernandez. “It becomes the most important part of your life.”
But don’t assume that means she slowed down politically. This spring Stewart launched a Political Action Committee known as “Stu-PAC.”
“Stuart, Stu-PAC get it?” she laughed.
The reason? To raise money and support like-minded candidates: fiscally-conservative but socially “tolerant” Republicans.
“I don’t believe in big government,” she explained.
“We want to make sure that I can put some funds behind candidates that think like [I do],” Mayor Stewart told News 8.
The Hardware City’s 40th mayor announced to News 8 that she’ll once again be a candidate herself next fall.
“It’s my full intention to run for mayor of the City of New Britain again in 2021,” she announced.
Stewart was 26 in 2013 when she was first elected mayor. Larger ambitions became clear in 2018 when she unsuccessfully ran for statewide office. Dropping from the governor to lieutenant governor ticket at the last minute, upsetting the party establishment.
When asked about running for Governor again in 2022 she answered only, “I have a family now.”
This first-time mom says she’s taking it all step-by-step: “I just kind of roll with it and opportunities come and you take them as they come…I’ll never rule anything out, never close the door on anything.”
You can just drive around downtown and see the economic development projects underway and the improvements to the landscape since 2013, including transportation projects to improve entryways to downtown.
But critics of the mayor tell News 8 the city is only surviving financially but problems are being kicked down the road. For instance, the mayor has refinanced city debt six times and it has cost the city millions each time.
New Britain’s debt prior to 2013 was $285 million. Debt to-date: $453 million.