I don't know Aundré Bumgardner well, but I know enough about him to make sure he would be an excellent mayor of the city of Groton.
It's been a bit lost in the news's fire hose over the past week, but Bumgardner, a city councilor, announced that he will run for mayor's office in the city, which will likely be a Democratic primary with incumbent Keith Hedrick. cause.
We will see what those campaigns and the final election will deliver, hopefully a comprehensive look at the candidates and their approach to the issues, and I look forward to seeing them unfold.
I am delighted to see Bumgardner, who is of Puerto Rican, Panamanian, and African American descent, stretch his political legs in a year when so many of us are hungry for more diversity in community leadership.
He also brings an interesting resume to the campaign, a lot of experience given his youth.
I remember a fairly young Bumgardner who worked hard in New London to make Republican Rob Pero the city's first full-time mayor. His enthusiasm and political intuition were fully visible then, even on the margins of those busy elections, which Pero lost.
It is not often that someone in their teens spends so much time volunteering in politics.
Just a few years later, in 2014, Bumgardner became the youngest member of the General Assembly, sworn in as a representative for New London and Groton at the age of 20.
He defeated an old Democratic incumbent party, which was part of a political dynasty in the city, and I remember well what he said at the time: he did it with a lot of shoe leather and knocked on a lot of doors.
He lost his next race and was a particularly good loser, eventually driving the winner, Rep. Joe de la Cruz, to Hartford to show him around the General Assembly. They became and remain friends.
Whenever I use Rep. Bumgardner saw in the legislature, he was thoroughly involved, a diligent participant in hearings, asking probing questions, taking notes, clearly prepared for the issue at hand. He always seemed interested, no matter how boring the topic was.
He had health anxiety while serving in the General Assembly and kept the fact private that he was undergoing surgery for a tumor under his scalp. But he never missed a voice.
I like Bumgardner's commitment to some of the things that matter to me: public access to the coastline, open space, and climate change management.
His experience in Hartford and the Town of Groton government would serve the city's voters well.
It is curious that Bumgardner announced his newfound ambition the same week that Donald Trump's presidency finally burned out, as it was his rejection of Trumpism that helped shape his political identity.
Bumgardner switched sides after Donald Trump declared "guilt on both sides" after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"He compared Black Lives Matters to neo-Nazis," Bumgardner said of Trump at the time, adding that he was discouraged that more Republicans did not object to the comments.
Groton Republicans appeared to be retaliating for Bumgarner's defection during last year's presidential campaign and demanding the resignation of the city councilor after calling Trump and his supporters on social media for their racism. Trump had told the Proud Boys hate group to "stand by" during a debate.
Given the uprising we saw in Washington the proud boys, the day after Bumgarder announced his campaign for the mayor of Groton City, the young politician's rejection of fellow Republicans who would not call out the racist president now seems particularly prescient.
This is the view of David Collins.
. (tagsToTranslate) Groton CT (t) Political candidates (t) Politics (general) (t) Racism (t) City councils (t) Government and politics (t) African Americans (t) Donald Trump (t) USA. Republican Party (t) Municipal elections (t) Social diversity (t) Politics and government (t) Cultural diversity (t) Municipal and local politics