With the state budget deficit at nearly $4 billion (and could end up higher with GAAP), and municipalities struggling with their own financial problems, the question of whether New Britain Mayor Tim Stewart plans to try to be both mayor and state senator has been rightly raised by Democrats.

The special election Feb. 22nd is to fill the state senate seat vacated by Don DeFronzo who joined the Malloy administration as head of the department of administrative services.

Stewart is upset about a telephone poll conducted by the state Democratic Party that asked people’s opinion about Stewart possibly holding both positions simultaneously. Stewart blames his Democratic opponent Theresa Gerratana. “Her camp wants you to think I am a money-hungry politician seeking to retain both jobs,” Stewart said in a campaign statement. “Those who know me know that categorization couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
Stewart has said that if he wins, he’ll keep his position as mayor “for as long as it takes” to have a smooth transition. New Britain faces its own financial problems and Stewart says he’ll be around to make sure that gets straightened out.

Stewart is upset that the Democrats are calling him on this obscene case of double-dipping?  Please.  The bottom line is, be state senator or mayor.   Refusing to map out a plan to do one or the other is either a gross case of taking two government salaries or a frightening case of a power-hungry politician who can’t let go of any control.  Either way, it should give voters pause.