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Edwin Vargas Kicks Off Mayoral Campaign

HARTFORD — Edwin Vargas Jr. is the fourth city resident to announce his mayoral bid for the 2012 election.

At Shop Fare Supermarket on Maples Street, about a dozen supporters and onlookers surrounded Vargas on Friday as he officially kicked off his candidacy.

“I’ve been in the community, Vargas said at a gathering at Jesse’s Bar on Broad Street. “I have a lot of support.”

Vargas, 61, is a long-time educator and community activist, having taught for more than three decades. He then became president of the Hartford Federation of Teachers.

He has also served as president of the Greater Hartford Labor Council AFL-CIO, president of the Puerto Rican PAC, and chair of Hartford Democratic Party.

Last year, Vargas challenged incumbent state Sen. John Fonfara, 54, for the 1st Senate District seat in the August primary. The district represents Hartford’s South End and parts of Wethersfield.

Ed Vargas, Jr. confers with onlookers at gathering at Jesse's

Vargas carried Hartford but not Wethersfield.

Vargas has had his eye on Fonfara’s seat for sometime and was gearing up to make another bid–if Fonfara had resigned to accept another prize: Department of Public Utilities Commissioner in Gov. Dannel Malloy’s administration. Malloy offered that job to someone else.

And that door was closed for Vargas again, so he jumped into the mayoral race.

But this time, Vargas said, he has enough support in Hartford to put up a robust mayoral bid.

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