By Maria Lopez, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — In what might be a hint of the political landscape in Hartford, Democratic Mayoral Candidate Edwin Vargas won The Hartford Guardian’s Readers Poll in May, and surprisingly competed against an undeclared city resident: WFSB’s Dennis House.
Incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra garnered 9 percent, or 6 votes.
Local businessman Stan McCauley captured 6 percent, or 4 votes.
And Shawn Wooden, a lawyer, gleaned a mere 4 percent, or 3 votes.
One vote, not shown, was for Hartford City Councilman Luis Cotto.
House, whose name was written in on the poll, garnered 10 percent, or 7 votes.
Although this poll was unscientific, it revealed this much: Vargas is leaving no proverbial stone unturned as he heads into the late summer of revved up political campaigns. And it also showed he has the most volunteers, or supporters who cared enough, to ensure his victory on a hyper-local news site.
After the McCauley camp protest what they perceived as a “skewered” poll, an anonymous commentator on The Guardian’s poll had this to say about the political landscape: “It’s pretty clear, that this is how it stands: Mayor Segarra—front runner, slipping though. Shawn Wooden—rising fast, but uncharismatic. Edwin Vargas. True test is the next fundraising quarter. McCauley, I’d be shocked if J. Stan garnered more than 5 percent of the vote in September.”
Prenzina Holloway, a longtime political activist and city resident, theorized about the the early campaign season.
“Vargas is connecting with all kinds of people,” she said. “Some of these lawyers only pay attention to big fish.”
In addition to connecting, the poll also reflected Vargas’s growing and effective presence with social media. For example, his fan page has 145 likes, as opposed to Segarra’s fan page, which has 67 likes early Wednesday.
Segarra’s Facebook friends recently passed 1,000, though. But getting them to like the page is another matter.
Likes on fan pages will not put a wrinkle on anyone’s forehead, some say. Experts say people usually pay attention to the political landscape after the July 4 holiday.
But for Vargas, it seemed, every day, everyone and everything leading to the September Democratic primary is crucial. He actively plugged The Guardian’s poll on his fan page and circulated the news among his volunteers. Consequently, he netted the most votes and bragging rights as the mayoral candidate that connected with people deeply engaged in Hartford’s political arena–so much so that they paid attention to early readers’ poll.
And for Vargas, no poll is inconsequential.
Vargas will be among the four Democratic mayoral candidates debating the issues Wednesday at Hartford Public Library. The debate is set for 6: 00 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m.