After 27 years as mayor of Fairfield County’s smallest city, Mark Lauretti is toying with a possible new job: becoming mayor of Fairfield County’s largest city.
In an interview with the Hartford Courant, Lauretti raised the possibility of leaving Shelton, where he has served as mayor since 1991, and relocating to Bridgeport to challenge incumbent Joe Ganim in next year’s mayoral election.
“I’ve said it in casual conversation that I won’t mind being the mayor of Bridgeport,” Lauretti said. “I think it’s fair to say that I’ve done my job in Shelton and gotten tremendous results. I think I could bring about a change that is necessary and is required for a city that was once great to be on the track to returning to that greatness.”
The Republican Lauretti and Democrat Ganim unsuccessfully sought their respective parties’ nomination for governor earlier this year. He noted that Ganim’s crushing defeat in the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont made him more vulnerable as a candidate.
“I think now that he’s out of the governor’s equation, he’s got to get refocused on Bridgeport,” he said.
Lauretti is no stranger to Bridgeport – he taught science and coached basketball at Bridgeport’s Central High School during the 1980s – but he joked that he needed to clear any plans for relocation with his family.
“My wife might divorce me,” Lauretti said. “Look, I’m a guy that likes challenges and I guess that’s the competitor in me. If you can’t be governor, then maybe there are other options for me politically.”
Still, Lauretti recognized that Republicans do not have a track record of scoring electoral victories in Bridgeport, and he theorized whether a change of party would be required.
“I think my days of being a Republican are somewhat limited,” Lauretti said. “I don’t see a lot of a future for Republicans so perhaps (I would run as an) unaffiliated.”