Former West Hartford Mayor and three-term state Senator Jonathan Harris announced Wednesday that he will form an exploratory committee to run for statewide office in 2010.
With six constitutional offices, Harris said he’ll be running with an eye toward Secretary of the State.
Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who is also a Democrat, has been traveling the state laying the foundation for a run for governor.
Harris, who currently co-chairs the legislature’s Public Health Committee, said in a phone interview Wednesday that he wants to be in the mix during this “game changing moment” and do for the entire state what he was able to accomplish for his constituents in Bloomfield, Farmington, Burlington, and West Hartford.
One of those accomplishments includes the development of Blue Back Square, a mixed-used residential and retail center behind West Hartford Town Hall. As mayor Harris oversaw the planning and development of the property, which has since created over 600 permanent new jobs and generated $6.4 million in new tax revenue each year.
“I want to be part of the team that will rebuild a strong economy, create good jobs and change the way we’re doing business,” Harris.
In 2007, as co-chairman of the Human Services Committee, Harris helped negotiate a compromise between lawmakers and stakeholders over the distribution of contraception for rape victims.
“Despite the deep-seated feelings and beliefs, we brought all sides together, listened and acted,” Harris said in a press release. “The result was a law that not only provided care and protection to victims of rape, it provided the basis for a better system of evidence collection to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are caught and brought to justice.”
Harris, who is in his legislative office five to six days a week, said he hasn’t decided yet whether he will give up his senate seat. At the moment, “I’m just exploring other opportunities,” and will make a decision about the senate seat in the future.
Harris is the fourth Democratic candidate exploring a possible run for Secretary of the State. He said he will file the paperwork in January.
State Rep. James Spallone, D-Essex, Rep. Kelvin Roldan, D-Hartford, and
Gerry Garcia of New Haven have also filed the necessary paperwork to run for Secretary of the State.