New Haven health director officially joins Sec. of the State race


NEW HAVEN — The city’s public health director has confirmed her upcoming bid for Secretary of the State after months of unofficial campaigning.

Maritza Bond, a Democrat, officially declared her candidacy Sunday morning on WTNH’s Capitol Report segment, adding that she had received statewide support since launching an exploratory campaign last September.

That initial foray raised $30,000 by January, Bond’s campaign said.

“I’m really humbled that people see me as a fresh face and that I have a different vision that brings in the government management executive experience that is absolutely crucial to be in that role,” Bond told WTNH on Sunday.

She joins multiple other Democrats vying for the office, vacant after incumbent Democrat Denise Merrill announced in June 2021 that she would be retiring after three terms.

Bond is the first Hispanic health director in the state and, if elected, would be the first Hispanic Secretary of the State. She also is a first-generation college student, according to a campaign press release.

“Since announcing my exploratory campaign months ago, it has been made clear to me that I am the underdog,” Bond said in the release. “Luckily, this is a position I am very comfortable with.”

Bond has cited her 22 years of experience in the public health sector as a valuable precursor to the statewide bid. Bond spent four years as the health and social services director for Bridgeport before she became New Haven’s health director and worked in the lower Naugatuck Valley before that.

She said her campaign will focus on expanding access to voting, including absentee ballots and early voting, as well as making the office more accessible and community-oriented.

Bond graduated from Southern Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut, holding a master’s in public health from the latter.

She could face at least one other New Haven Democrat in the race. Former Democratic chairwoman and city official Jackie James has said she would make a play for the open seat.

Other Democrats who are considering runs include Hamden state Rep. Joshua Elliott, Middletown state Sen. Matt Lesser and Meriden state Rep. Hilda Santiago, New Haven Democratic Town Chairman Vincent Mauro has said.

Prior reporting by Ben Lambert and Mark Zaretsky contributed to this report


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