NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– New Haven Democrats have endorsed Mayor Toni Harp for another term. Elm City Democrats met for their Town Committee convention Thursday night and the loser, former Alderman Justin Elicker, is pledging to run for the primary in September.
Mayor Harp won the endorsement by a two to one margin. The final tally was Harp 34, Elicker 16.
The three term mayor remains personally popular among the party establishment in New Haven. One party insider telling me, most town committee members like her but feel she has not been well served by some of the people around her at City Hall. She admits to mistakes but says that overall New Haven is a much better city in terms of employment and housing than it was five years ago.
In her brief acceptance speech, Mayor Harp saying, “We will remain focused on taking our city to a broader future. I hope to see all of you out on the campaign trail. We are going to win this election together.”
Elicker says he knew all along winning the town committee endorsement was a long shot because this is a political insider process. Many had expected him to do better.
Elicker saying, “What’s most important is that we’ve knocked on about 12,000 doors already in the city. We’ve out raised her two to one. She’s spent most of it so we have four times the amount of money in the bank and we’re going to win this thing.”
Elicker says he will immediately begin gathering the thousands of petition signatures he needs to get on the primary ballot. Says if he doesn’t win the primary he’ll petition his way onto the November ballot.
The Primary is September 10th.