Raul De Jesús, Jr. considers himself ” a true son of Hartford.” He is one of six children from fourth generation Puerto Rican immigrants. De Jesús grew up in the Charter Oak Terrace projects and is also a graduate of Buckley High School. His life, filled with constant adversity contrasted by the watchful eye of his loving parents sparked his determination to aspire for a better future. With the encouragement of his parents, De Jesús became the youngest candidate to run for public office in the 2007 mayoral race in the city of Hartford. Running against, no other than, the well-established and popular incumbent Eddie Perez, another Puerto Rican. Raul De Jesús’ enthusiasm and perseverance in the field of politics can best be summarized by a phrase found in his website “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
In his interview, De Jesús talked in detail about his plans for the city. His pluralistic and bi-partisan political approach emphasizes the need for all the operating entities in the city of Hartford to come together and work toward three basic issues: poverty, crime and education. When asked about his connectedness to the needs of the Latino community in Hartford, De Jesús responded that he would like to be known as “the ears to those whose voices are not being heard.” De Jesús, wants a brighter future for Hartford and especially for its children. He advocates strongly for reducing crime and for the desperate need to provide Hartford’s youth an alternative to their disadvantaged disposition. By focusing on Hartford’s youth, De Jesús signals the emergence of his true political leadership capabilities. Because after all, they may be the future force rallying behind the political success he passionately seeks.