“I got tired of being on the sidelines,” said John Gill, a 29-year-old attorney.
Gill, a newcomer to Bristol politics, aims to unseat first-term incumbent Democrat Art Ward.
City Councilor Ken Cockayne said that Gill “has an outstanding resume which blew me away” and should make a strong challenger.
“He’s a good candidate,” said T.J. Barnes, the Republican chairman.
Gill grew up in Southington and earned a bachelor’s degree at George Washington University in 2002.
A Democrat in college, he said, his “priorities sort of shifted” after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. He said he watched the smoke curling up into the sky from the Pentagon.
It made him want to come home to Connecticut and take an active role in the community where he settled.
He attended Boston’s Suffolk University Law School and practices in Wilton, where he specializes in marine insurance law.
Though Gill worked for a Democratic congressman briefly and was active in school organizations and sports, he hasn’t been a part of the political scene in Bristol.
But, he said, he’s been paying close attention, reading stories in the Press and finding much to disagree with in the actions of City Hall. He said he asked his fiancée about running for mayor long ago, but only jumped into the race after reading on the Bristol Blog Tuesday that Ward might face no opposition.
Gill said it would “a tragedy” for democracy and the community if the mayor got a free ride, so he contacted party leaders and quickly gained their backing.
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