Two Candidates Remain in New Haven Mayoral Race

By Jeff Saperstone
|  Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013  |  Updated 7:57 PM EDT
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Fresh off her victory Toni Harp got right back to work Wednesday as she faces Justin Elicker who is running as an independent.

Jeff Saperstone and Thomas Kienzler

Fresh off her victory Toni Harp got right back to work Wednesday as she faces Justin Elicker who is running as an independent.

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Candidates Toni Harp and Justin Elicker are setting their sights on November's general election, when they'll face off in a bid to become New Haven mayor.

One day after Toni Harp scored a big victory in the Democratic primary, she's refoucssing her efforts at setting her sights on November's general election.

"We're going to retool ourselves and move forward," Harp said.

The state senator won 50 percent of the vote in the four-way race.

Only one of her original challengers plans to move ahead to the general election. Justin Elicker is running as an independent candidate after receiving 23 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

"We're going to start today with fundraising and calling a lot of folks," Elicker said.

For both candidates, the focus shifts to courting the 18,000 or so independent voters in New Haven. The jabs have already begun.

"My campaign is not about 'I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine,'" Elicker said. "My campaign is about moving beyond politics as usual."

Harp responded by calling out Elicker's relative lack of experience.

"He hasn't really achieved a lot of a local legislative official," Harp said. "So I think that there's a lot that we can compare."

Both Elicker and Harp aim to grab the endorsements of the two losing candidates, Henry Fernandez and Kermit Carolina.

"I'm optimistic but I don't want to presume anything," Elicker said. "I've had conversations with them."

Harp said she also plans to reach out.

"Certainly they are Democrats, and I would hope that they support the Democratic nominee," she said.

Harp already has the backing of Gov. Dannel Malloy and many elected officials. Elicker said that doesn't deter him.

Outgoing Mayor John DeStefano has not endorsed a candidate.

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