Primary Day for New Haven Mayor's Race - NBC Connecticut

Primary Day for New Haven Mayor's Race

For the first time in 20 years, Mayor John DeStefano is not running.



    All four Democratic mayoral candidates voted in primary on Tuesday. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013)

    The four Democratic candidates for New Haven mayor hit the campaign trail on Monday night.

    Today, the decision is up to the voters and it's a historic one.

    Mayor John DeStefano is not running for re-election, so New Haven will have its first new mayor in 20 years.

    The candidates, Henry Fernandez, Toni Harp, Justin Elicker and Kermit Carolina, all spent Monday greeting voters and making phone calls.

    Primary voters will decide which candidate will go on to the general election as the Democratic candidate.

    NBC Connecticut spoke with the candidates as they prepared for election day.

    "I think this race is wide open," Fernandez said. "It's wide open tomorrow and it's wide open in November."

    Justin Elicker, a city Alderman, is also gaining support among voters.

    "I'm focusing beyond politics as usual and that speaks to folks in the Democratic primary and it speaks to non Democrats and unaffiliated members as well," he said.

    Kermit Carolina, the principal at Hillhouse High School, continues to criticize what he calls the New Haven establishment.

    "We have an establishment that has been in place for the past 20 some odd years," Carolina said. "They've ignored the needs of the people."

    Toni Harp, the state senator, is the party endorsed candidate who has been considered to be the favorite.

    She said if she wins on Tuesday, she will still win in November, despite the fact that her three opponents plan to challenge her as independents in the general election.

    "It will show that I have the majority of Democrats behind me," Harp said. "This is a Democratic city I would expect that they would be behind me through November."

    Polls open at 6 a.m.