NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Incumbent New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker won a third term Tuesday, winning the majority of votes in every ward.
Elicker gave his speech around 9 p.m., just an hour after polls closed. He thanked his family, his team and several city organizations for their support through his first two terms and this campaign. He talked about his successes getting through COVID-19 and creating affordable housing but said there is still much work to do regarding housing, public safety and education. He said he’s committed to continuing the progress the city has made.
“New Haven has a lot of challenges, like many cities out there, particularly cities that have a large population that’s really struggling with poverty,” Elicker said. “I think residents really showed tonight that they acknowledge we’ve got these challenges, but we have made progress, and we’re going in the right direction. That’s why you saw this overwhelming victory.”
Former consultant Tom Goldenberg started the race as a Democrat but failed to make the party primary ballot. He was cross-endorsed by the Republican Party and the Independent Party, hoping to become the first Republican nominee to win the New Haven mayoral election in 72 years.
Former Yale New Haven Hospital nurse Wendy Hamilton was a petitioning candidate, meaning she received no nomination from a political party but did receive enough signatures to get on the ballot.
But the most contentious race in New Haven surrounds a ballot question that reads: “Shall the City approve and adopt all other Charter changes as recommended by the Charter Revision Commission and approved by the Board of Alders?”
Voting “yes” would allow the charter to increase terms for the mayor, city clerk and alders from two years to four years starting in 2027.
This is something the mayor wants, and many people are opposed to this.
Many Republicans oppose the question, while others think the question is too broad, including the chair of the city’s park commission, David Belowsky, who has a “lifetime appointment.”
“To lump everything in one vote wasn’t a really great idea. You should’ve done it as one item, where people could vote on different items…lumping everything together,” Belowsky said.