Luke Bronin’s week-old exploratory campaign for statewide office got a boost Wednesday when Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary threw his support behind the Hartford mayor.
“Last week, Luke announced that he is exploring a run for Governor,” O’Leary wrote in an email addressed to Bronin’s supporters. “I am proud to say that I am one of the many people who encouraged him to take this step.”
O’Leary’s endorsement is important because Waterbury sends 51 delegates to the state Democratic convention, the fifth-most of any city or town in the state.
Candidates need to win the support of at least 15 percent of the 1,927 delegates at the May convention to appear on the ballot for an August primary.
Hartford sends another 78 delegates to the state convention. If Bronin wins over everyone in both cities, he’d be about halfway toward qualifying for a primary.
“I’ll tell you what I told Luke, and why I stand with him now: Our state needs leaders who are ready to deal with difficult problems head-on — with energy, boldness, and a vision for Connecticut’s future,” O’Leary wrote in the email, which asked readers to make a $50 campaign contribution to Bronin.