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Manafort Got Early Lessons In Politics From Father, Ex-New Britain Mayor

Matt Rourke
Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, surrendered to the FBI Monday morning.

Former Trump Presidential Campaign Chair Paul Manafort, who’s been charged with multiple crimes in a federal indictment, started his political career as a teenager in his hometown of New Britain, Connecticut.

Manafort started learning politics at the age of 10, long before he became a high-powered Washington lobbyist and international political operative. That’s when his father joined the New Britain Board of Aldermen.

As a teenager, Manafort worked on his father’s successful campaign for mayor of New Britain. The older Paul Manafort was a three-term Republican mayor, serving from 1965 to 1971, in a city that was dominated by Democrats. 

In a 2016 interview with the Hartford Courant, Manafort said his father was a successful politician because he understood working class Americans – something he said Trump was also able to do in 2016. Manafort said his teenage days in New Britain were a galvanizing experience for him. He said that’s where he learned the nuts and bolts of a political campaign.  

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.