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HARTFORD, CT — Hartford attorney Shawn Wooden got a powerful boost Wednesday in his race to become Connecticut’s next state Treasurer.

Wooden, former president of the Hartford City Council, was endorsed by New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, whose name has been circulated as a possible lieutenant governor candidate on the 2018 Democratic ticket.

“Shawn is a nationally recognized public pension plan investment lawyer with an extensive record of fighting on the side of working families,” Harp said in a Facebook post. “His passion for fairness was on display while he worked at the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment, throughout his 20 years as a lawyer, and as a public servant. I believe Shawn is the most qualified candidate to seek the office of Treasurer and that he’ll serve the state with distinction.”

Harp’s endorsement is also important because it would help Wooden with the 97 New Haven delegates to the party’s nominating convention. New Haven has the most delegates to the convention followed by Bridgeport and then Hartford.

In order to get on the ballot candidates have to secure at least 15 percent of the support from the1,927 delegates to the May convention.

The state treasurer race became wide open a few weeks ago when Democrat Denise Nappier announced that she wouldn’t be running for another term. Nappier was the first African-American woman elected to serve as Treasurer and has held the position for two decades.

On the Democratic side, other than Wooden, fellow Hartford lawyer Arunan Arulampalam has officially taken out paperwork to run for the spot.

Arulampalam is an attorney at Updike, Kelly and Spellacy, where he advises banks and financial institutions on debt and equity financing.

Arulampalam has announced endorsements from Democratic politicians across the state, including state senators Beth Bye of West Hartford and Steve Cassano of Manchester, along with state representatives James Albis, D-East Haven, David Arconti, D-Danbury, Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, and Derek Slap, D-West Hartford.

Arulampalam and Wooden will have to spar for the votes of the 78 Hartford delegates or one of them could seek to cobble support outside the urban areas. They also will likely vie for the support of the 90 Bridgeport delegates.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Art Linares, R-Westbrook, and Thaddeus I. Gray, managing director and chief investment officer of Abbott Capital Management, have taken out paperwork to run.

John Blankley, a Democrat from Greenwich who runs a computer consulting business and has run for statewide office previously, is exploring a run for state Treasurer.