Since Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra ascended to office after the conviction of Mayor Eddie Perez on corruption charges, he seems to have done everything right. Most cities or states sink into a kind of funk after their leaders are caught betraying their trust. Segarra has succeeded in avoiding that in Hartford. And he done it with both the big things and the little things—leading the city during troubling economic times, showing up at the Big East women’s basketball tournament (and staying to the end of a UConn game) and everything in between.
Now, both the Hartford Advocate and Leaders Magazine are featuring Segarra. Locally, the mayor was voted both Best Local Hero and Best Local Politician by Advocate readers in the annual Best of Hartford edition, one of the paper’s most popular editions. Mayor Segarra is also featured in this quarter’s edition of Leaders Magazine–a publication with worldwide distribution to business, educational, and economic leaders.
“Hartford is truly the winner in all of this,” Mayor Segarra said. “My focus right now is on creating jobs, making our city safe, educating our children, cleaning-up and sustaining our historic parks, and leveraging our artistic and cultural assets as economic drivers for the city, region, and state.”
Segarra is not without his detractors especially since he announced he would run for a full term in his own right. State Rep. Kevin Roldan is considering a challenge to Segarra in the next mayoral election. Roldan is a protégé of Perez’and seems to be basing his would-be campaign largely on some controversy over Segarra’s alleged failure to disclose some financial information about his wife.
Roldan had a golden opportunity to make his case to the voters as to why he should replace Segarra on last weekend’s edition of Channel 3’s “Face the State” hosted by Dennis House. The Shad is a veteran of political talk shows (The “O’Reilly Factor,” “Hardball,” “Crossfire,” et al, as well as the state shows). As such, I can say with confidence Roldan’s was the worst performance ever. House, among the best at eliciting answers to tough questions without appearing to bully the guest, was clearly frustrated as Roldan did a weave and dodge job that would have made “Irish” Micky Ward proud. In short, Roldan looked like he was making a hostage tape.
Roldan has some people in his camp that The Shad likes and respects. They have quite a job ahead of them if Roldan is to be taken seriously.