NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Could this be Justin Elicker’s year?
The former New Haven Alderman is challenging incumbent Democratic Mayor Toni Harp in Tuesday’s mayoral primary.
It’s a rematch of the 2013 Election that Harp won 54-46%.
This time around however, Elicker feels he is primed to pull off the upset.
“A lot of bad news coming out about chaos with the Board of Education, corruption at city hall, inappropriate decisions and an FBI investigation,” Elicker told News 8’s George Colli.
Elicker says he first got involved in politics because he found himself complaining about a lot of what was going on in city government and wanted to do something about it.
He says that when he knocks on doors in the neighborhoods, residents say they’re being ignored and the current administration is focusing too much on building up downtown. He says he will bring a different focus to the Elm City.
“A different type of leadership that brings more integrity to City Hall and brings good management practices,” said Elicker. “Mayor Harp has had a very strong career but she’s been in politics as a politician for almost 30 years. I think it’s time for new democrats to step up and bring new ideas and new leadership.”
Elicker says he is passionate about education. The biggest difference for him this campaign compared tio 2013 is that he is now a father of two daughters. The oldest entered the New Haven public school system for the first time this year.
“It’s not just about doing the right thing to improve the school system because it’s the right thing to do but because it’s my little baby that in the schools,” said Elicker. “So I’m experiencing firs- hand what it’s like to be a parent and also just how important it is to make the schools more inviting and welcoming to all students.”
Elicker acknowledges it will be a tough task to defeat the incumbent with three decades of experience in government and almost universal name recognition, but feels this could be the year.
“I think I’m going to win this because I’m working my tail off,” said Elicker. “I’m doing it by reaching out to people that traditionally don’t get involved in politics because people are ready for change.”
The polls will be open on Tuesday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.