Should I Run for Mayor of Hartford?

Photo by Balazs Busznyak on Unsplash

I wrote about this topic almost two two years ago. Back then, I was speaking in generalizations since there was no political office I was interested in. But last week, Mayor Luke Bronin announced that he wouldn’t seek a third term as the leader of Hartford. So there’s a job opening. The question is, should I apply?

The fact is I have no interest in being mayor or any other kind of politician. Nothing has changed much in the last two years on that front- in fact, the pandemic has pushed me further in the opposite direction. But the pandemic also showed me that government does matter, and it especially matters who’s at the top.

If I were to seek public office, I would approach it as fulfilling a responsibility. I’ve been asked to run for and encouraged to seek public office before; clearly those people saw some quality in me that they thought would make me a good leader. Do I owe it to them, and the rest of the public to use those qualities for the greater good?

The answer is maybe? But perhaps an unenthused leader is just as bad as the zealous ones who covet power. After all, when it comes to making decisions that impact the quality of people’s lives, perhaps it makes sense to have someone in charge who really wants to be there. I’ve worked jobs that I didn’t enjoy or had no interest in before, and to say that I half-assed them would be an understatement. People deserve more than a half-assed leader.

But I’m not dismissing the possibility completely out of hand. I think it’s important to stretch myself, even if it’s just in a hypothetical sense. What if I did run for mayor? What would I have to do? How would I have to change? What would be my ideas and platform? At the very least, seriously considering a political run would help me to sharpen alot of the fuzzy ideas I have about governance, and there’s value in that.

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