Candidates gear up for mayoral race

Published on Monday, 24 June 2019 20:58
Written by Michelle France


NEW BRITAIN – Temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up this summer, as the city’s three mayoral candidates plan to spice up their campaigns in the next few months.

Seeking a fourth term is incumbent Republican Mayor Erin Stewart, who is slated against two political newcomers: Democrat Christopher Porcher, 28, and Independent Devione Tanksley Sr., 33.

Stewart plans to continue campaign fundraising over the summer in order to get her message out to voters.

“There is a lot of positive work going on to improve the quality of life in town and now is the time to be sure all that work will continue by reelecting me and my team,” Stewart said on Wednesday.

“I don’t take any election lightly and the stakes are high. The people of New Britain deserve leadership,” she added.

Porcher, a life-long New Britain resident, announced his run for the democratic nomination in April. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University and a master’s in business management from the University of Saint Joseph.

“We are running a grassroots campaign, and we are on the ground running by door knocking and talking to residents every chance we can get,” Porcher said on Wednesday.

While he waits for the official democratic endorsement, he said his plans remain the same; running a positive campaign and educating residents in hopes of being elected on Nov. 5.

“We will continue to canvas the city and reach as many voters as we can. We will continue to run a positive campaign by putting New Britain Residents first and providing as much education as possible,” Porcher said.

In the coming months, Porcher said he will hold a series of town halls.

“We want to make sure we are easily reachable,” Porcher said. “I say the word “we” because this is a team effort and we have an amazing team that believes in what I stand for.”

Tanksley, a local entrepreneur, recently submitted 125 signatures to the Secretary of State. Only 96 signatures are required to run as an independent in the election.

Tanksley is the founder of a local nonprofit, New Britain Legacies Youth Development Basketball program, and owner of DMTS Radio Live. In February, he opened “My Wife Didn’t Cook,” restaurant, where he recently employed 15 people. He has written two books and was awarded the Tomorrow Youth Leadership Award in 2017 by the NAACP.

Tanksley is planning a series of community events; none of which will be the same, he said. His next event will be a brunch where he invites residents to join him for food and open dialogue. He encourages residents to attend to get to know him and ask questions.

“All of my events are going to be creative and involve the youth with their events, the adults with their events, and the senior citizens with their events,” he said. “We are circling around all aspects of the community.”

He will also be working on a social media series called ‘DMTS4Mayor,’ where he will release a new episode every Thursday night. The first two are ready for viewing.

“You’re going to see a real person really telling people my story and what I feel like I can do for my community,” he said.

Political party endorsement for municipal office by town committee, caucus or convention must be completed between July 16 to July 23.

The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Michelle France can be reached at 860-801-5087 or at

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News on Monday, 24 June 2019 20:58. Updated: Monday, 24 June 2019 21:00.