Luke Bronin grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is currently a Partner at Hinckley Allen, a law firm with sites throughout New England and New York, including an office in Hartford, CT. He is currently running for Mayor of Hartford, announcing that his goal is “to get Hartford working again.”
Before joining Hinckley Allen, Luke served as General Counsel to Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy; as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury; and as Chief of Staff to the President of Property and Casualty Operations at the Hartford Financial Services Group.
Luke also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was a member of the military's anti-corruption task force during his deployment to Afghanistan between 2010 and 2011.
Mr. Bronin was interviewed by HYPEster Julia Winer for HYPE’s public office blog series. The series focuses on interviewing public officials from different towns where HYPE members have an interest in running for public office. Our goal is to provide assistance by offering someone for members to reach out to with questions
What made you want to run for mayor?
Luke Bronin believes that Hartford is at a critical moment in time. He says that there are a lot of opportunities for the city, but some pretty significant challenges as well, and he believes that leadership needs to act quickly to tackle the city’s challenges heads on. “Hartford is a great city, and I believe that we need stronger leadership,” explained Bonin. Luke and his wife Sarah moved to Hartford in 2006. He said that they were originally attracted to the city because of its beauty and cultural diversity. “This is the heart of the region; a region that has more than 1 million people,” said Bronin. “If we can make Hartford thrive as the artistic, cultural, and economic center of our region, the potential is unlimited.”
What do you think potential candidates should know about running a campaign before deciding to run for office?
Luke wants potential candidates to understand that running for office requires a lot of hard work. “The most important part of campaigning is that you have to be willing to get out and talk to residents and voters, face to face.” Bronin explained that he spends many nights in the community, getting to know people, giving people a chance to get to know him, and allowing them to ask him the hard questions. “If you want to run, you have to be willing to do everything you can to engage the voters and the business community, and that requires putting in the legwork.”
Your campaign slogan is, “It’s time to get Hartford working again!” Can you talk about how you developed the messaging and a visual identity for your campaign?
Luke Bronin wanted his campaign messages to reflect what his core priorities would be as mayor. In particular, he has identified growing jobs and reversing the growth of unemployment as one of the biggest challenges. He acknowledges that many of these challenges stem from lack of economic opportunity. “Job growth needs to be the priority,” explained Bronin. “It isn’t going to happen overnight; it is going to take time, but we have to make that our priority.” Another focus of Bronin’s campaign messaging is improving the functionality of Hartford’s city government. “City Hall needs to function more effectively. It needs to serve residents more responsively, and in order to do that, it requires a mayor who is willing to be hands on and engaged.”
How have you leveraged social media as part of your campaign? What have you found to be effective that you would recommend to others?
Before running for mayor, Luke Bronin did not have a strong social media presence, so in order to communicate with people on the campaign trail and spread the word about his goals, Bronin has embraced Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. He says that social media is helpful for reaching some residents, but emphasizes that it is only part of his strategy. “It is effective and important, but not enough to only rely on social media.”
What have you found to be the most important actions that you took or activities that you engaged in during the years leading up to your campaign that laid the foundation for you to be able to run for office?
Bronin’s career has been focused on public service for a number of years, including serving in President Obama’s administration, in the US Navy, and as Governor Malloy’s general council. “Those experiences reinforced my view that government can make a big difference in people’s lives if used well,” said Bronin. Luke recommends that everyone follow their own path when it comes to running for office. His first political activity was helping to manage a state senate campaign. The experience taught him about the political process and how a campaign works. Luke recommends that in order to get started, young people should get involved at any level and focus on contributing to the community in whatever way they can.
Check out the other candidate interviews with Joel Cruz and Ted Cannon!
We are pleased to see active participation in local government and highlight the young professionals pursuing and/or holding these elected positions. Please note that HYPE can not endorse any candidate represented in the blog series or otherwise.