NEW BRITAIN – After a decisive victory on Nov. 7 over Democrat Chris Anderson, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart has her eyes on the 2026 gubernatorial campaign.
”Is it something that I’d like to pursue? Yes,” Stewart told CT Examiner in an interview on Monday.
The New Britain Republican was elected to her sixth two-year term in a city where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by about 4-1.
Stewart, a fiscal conservative and a moderate on social issues, is seen as a rising star within the state’s Republican Party.
She previously entered the race for governor in 2018, before switching to a run for lieutenant governor, but later passed on the 2022 election.
In an interview in her City Hall offices, Stewart, 36, told CT Examiner not to count her out in a race for governor in 2026.
“I learned a lot in 2018 when I ran and I’ve told everyone from the beginning that it would be a dream job of mine, so I’m never going to close the door,” Stewart said.
Stewart, who became only the third mayor in the city’s history to be elected to at least six terms, touted her economic development record in her race against Anderson, who was a relative newcomer to the city.
Stewart noted, among other ongoing projects, the “Brit” which is slated to house 107 units downtown and “The Strand,” a former movie theater that will feature 57 studio apartments, 27 one-bedroom apartment and 16 two-bedroom apartments, in additional to sidewalk improvements to accommodate the expected increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic downtown.
Asked whether she thought her positions on abortion – she is pro-choice – and in favor of same-sex marriages might turn off some Republican voters in a primary, Stewart responded: “Get with the times. That’s my response to that. Get with the times. Politics isn’t all about social issues. Politics, especially in the executive office for which I serve in now and for which I’d like to run for, is about the administration of our government.”
“Listen, I’m a Republican,” Stewart said. “I’ve been one since the day I first registered to vote. I am a more moderate conservative, but I am still conservative.”