Voters in New Britain go to the polls Tuesday to choose a mayor. Incumbent Democrat Tim O'Brien is finishing up his first term as New Britain's mayor. Previously, O'Brien served almost ten years in the Connecticut House of Representatives. He said keeping property taxes flat for two years is proof that the city has turned itself around on his watch.
But O'Brien's challenger, Republican Erin Stewart, said O'Brien has mismanaged the city budget, and the tax rate has actually climbed higher under O'Brien's tenure. Stewart is calling for more transparency in city government. The 26-year-old Stewart is a member of the New Britain school board, and is the daughter of former Mayor Tim Stewart.
The New Britain Herald's Robert Storace said that in a politically rough-and-tumble city like New Britain, both candidates have run pretty clean campaigns, but the venom has showed up online. "We do have bloggers who make it that way," he said. "The two candidates themselves, I wouldn't say they've run a dirty race. But there are supporters, and others, who can post things anonymously on blogs, who do say some strong things."
Storace said voter turnout for mayoral elections in New Britain typically falls below the state average, which benefits challenger Erin Stewart's campaign.