New Haven Mayor Toni Harp may have officially cemented Ned Lamont as the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.
She announced her support at Tweed Airport alongside the Greenwich businessman, who she said is up for the job to help working families and the poor, despite his well-to-do pedigree.
“Not that I know the typical wealthy man from Greenwich. I don’t know them, but I know him and I know he's willing to go to work every day," Harp said.
Harp is the third high profile endorsement for Lamont in the past month. Attorney General George Jepsen, former Connecticut Democratic Party Executive Director and Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris each threw their support to Lamont in recent weeks. Harris dropped his bid for governor to do so.
Harp is the first mayor of one of Connecticut's large cities to announce their support for Lamont.
With that being the case, Harp used the opportunity to encourage the mayors and other Democratic Party delegates to support Lamont at the convention which convenes in two weeks in Hartford.
“It’s also meant to urge delegates from Stamford, and Bridgeport to Waterbury, Hartford and New London and every town in between to unite at this stage of the campaign cycle to support Ned.”
The support for Harp could be a turning point in the race from both a momentum and delegate standpoint. New Haven has about 100 of the 2,000 state convention delegates. If Lamont achieves up to 85 percent delegates, that would avoid a primary.
Lamont said the support from Harp should not force other candidates like Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim or former Secretary of the State to reconsider their candidacies.
“I think delegates will make up their minds over the next couple weeks whether this is a vision that they share that believes we can make a difference in their lives or we can go another way. I’m not giving anybody else any advice. I’m going to work every day for their votes, though.”