Bronko announces bid for top spot

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Michael Bronko, a former mayor and current burgess in Naugatuck, left, speaks with his son, current Republican mayoral candidate Seth Bronko, during Seth Bronko's campaign kickoff Tuesday at Jesse Camille's Restaurant in Naugatuck. –LUKE MARSHALL
Michael Bronko, a former mayor and current burgess in Naugatuck, left, speaks with his son, current Republican mayoral candidate Seth Bronko, during Seth Bronko’s campaign kickoff Tuesday at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant in Naugatuck. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — Seth Bronko has made it two Republicans vying for the mayor’s seat.

Bronko, 26, announced his candidacy for mayor Tuesday night at Jesse Camille’s Restaurant.

“I’m not satisfied with the current state of our town, with the third highest mill rate, with economic production moving slowly, and schools performing in the bottom 30 percent of school districts in the state. I’m just not satisfied. I want to do what I can to make a positive difference in the town,” Bronko said.

Bronko graduated from University of Connecticut School of Business in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. He is the co-owner and executive business manager of Bronko Construction LLC with his father, Michael Bronko, a current burgess and former mayor of Naugatuck.

Bronko said Tuesday he wants to bring fresh ideas to the mayor’s office.

“I think it’s time we elect some new leaders and get away from the same old status quo. I believe I can bring that fresh infusion of ideas and leadership it will take to bring Naugatuck into that right direction,” Bronko said.

Though he is young, Bronko sees his age as beneficial.

“I think voters are ready for something new. I think they’re tired of the same old politics year after year and the overspending in town. I think being younger I have the advantage of bringing those fresh ideas and bringing the town into that new direction,” Bronko said.

Bronko believes the largest problem in the borough is municipal overspending.

“We just can’t sustain the mill rate where it is. There is too much tax burden on the residents. We’ve got to broaden the tax base, expand the grand list. That’s got to be done by bringing in new businesses,” Bronko said.

He also said he wants to bring more economic development opportunities to Naugatuck to help shift some of the tax burden off residential property owners. And he wants to create a partnership with current local business owners and give them more of a voice in local government.

Republican Burgess Alexander Olbrys, 23, has also announced that he is running for mayor.

Republican Registrar of Voters Matthew Katra said he’s pleased Republicans have two viable candidates for mayor.

“We’ve got two new candidates here running for office. They’re going to bring fresh ideas. They’re going to be energetic, getting out there, talking to people, and doing what’s best for Naugatuck,” Katra said.

On the Democrat side, attorney N. Warren “Pete” Hess III has announce his intentions to run.

The mayor’s race is wide open with Democrat Mayor Robert Mezzo not seeking re-election. The Democratic and Republican town committees will endorse candidates in July.

The Republican-American contributed to this article.