Race for mayor of New Haven heating up on election eve

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — News 8 is Your Local Elections Headquarters. We have been previewing some of the races to watch on Election Day on Nov. 2.

Candidates running for mayor in New Haven gave their final pitches on Monday. 

For the first time in more than a decade, a Republican is running for the top spot. John Carlson is challenging Democratic incumbent Mayor Justin Elicker.

“I’ll stand up to Yale, improve education, get our streets safer, back the police not cut from their budget as the mayor has done, and I will also never put senior centers, a library on the chopping block,” Carlson said.

Elicker said his record is strong. 

“Getting Tweed Airport across the finish line, getting Union Station across the finish line, opening a re-entry welcoming center,” Elicker said. “There’s so much we’ve been able to accomplish, and we’re just getting started.”

Elicker said city residents confronted COVID119 economic challenges and worked to address systematic racism — a problem he said has confronted the city for generations. He takes issue with his opponent’s campaign claiming people are not welcome.

“I personally think some of the things that the other campaign is saying versus the things that our team is actually accomplishing ….it sends a real statement to voters to come out and support my team to ensure that we’re not only getting more things done but expressing the values of New Haven residents as a welcoming city that supports all,” Elicker said.

Carlson said he runs a clean campaign and all are welcome.

“I’m the only candidate in this race who actually has relatives of different ethnicities and different colors,” Carlson said. “I appreciate every one of different cultures, so I’m a little offended that he said that.”

Meantime, despite Democrats outnumbering Republicans 13 to 1, both qualified for grants from the Democracy Fund and took part in a debate streamed by News 8.

Both candidates agree on the notion that every vote counts. 

“It’s very important to get out there and vote and be heard,” Carlson said. “We have thousands of people in New Haven who don’t vote. We need to come out and vote in large numbers.”

“It’s really important to voice your opinions and voice your concerns, and voting is an active way to do that,” Elicker said.

There are also several contested races for the Board of Education and Alder people.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2. Stay with News 8 on-air, online, and on the News 8 app for live team coverage. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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