New Haven Mayor's Race Enters Final Week - NBC Connecticut

New Haven Mayor's Race Enters Final Week



    Toni Harp and Justin Elecker, New Haven Mayoral candidates, make their closing arguments to voters one week before polls open. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013)

    The candidates for New Haven mayor are into their final week of campaigning.

    Toni Harp, the Democrat and Justin Elicker, the Independent, are making their closing arguments and taking some shots at each other especially when it comes to who has more experience.

    "I think he absolutely doesn't have experience," said Harp.

    Harp is a long-time state senator with deep ties to the city. Elicker is a second-term city alderman who admits he's facing an uphill fight against his more well known opponent.

    "Being a mayor is very different than being a legislator and writing checks," said Elicker.

    Newly released campaign filings for the month of October show that Harp has out raised Elicker more than 3 to 1. Harp raised around $104,000, according to campaign aides. Elicker raised $33,441, according to filings. He was quick to point out that most of his contributions have come from inside New Haven.

    "The vast majority of her contributions are coming from special interest and people from outside New Haven," said Elicker.

    Harp didn't deny she has received outside contributions but she says she has diverse support across the city.

    "Mine is across the city, across demographics and yes, some outside funding," said Harp.

    Harp has received most of the big endorsements and got 50 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. Elicker is trying to court independent voters and younger, newer residents.

    "The question we're looking at next week is is that enough to win a one-on-on election," said Paul Bass, editor at the New Haven Independent.

    Bass, who has covered New Haven politics for 30 years said this is the most election he's seen in decades.

    "It's been a positive thing for New Haven because it's been a real democratic process," said Bass.

    After 20 years Mayor John Destefano is not running for re-election.