Former alderman Justin Elicker’s claimed victory over incumbent Mayor Toni Harp in New Haven’s Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday.
Gage Frank, Justin Elicker’s campaign manager confirmed they were claiming victory in the Democratic primary.
In his victory speech, Elicker described the kind of government he's aiming for.
"Six years ago we started this journey, and believe it or not in the room there are a lot of familiar faces of people that then believed in a government that was accessible....a government that is accessible to everyone. A government that is honest, and ethical, a government that implements smart policies that continually invest in communities that are struggling in the city. 6 years ago we came pretty close and we didn’t see that as a failure. We saw it as a lot more work needed to be done," he said.
It was an upset victory for the Elm City against Harp, who is in her third term as mayor.
Harp made a concession speak after calling Elicker's campaign.
“Thank you so much for believing in my administration and what we have stood for," Harp said.
Harp, the first woman mayor of New Haven, came into office in 2014, and campaigned most recently on her record of lowering crime, improving education and the goal of making New Haven a more inclusive, world class city.
Her life in public service preceded the mayor’s office – she also spent time in the state legislator as a senator representing New Haven, and was also a city alder.
Despite defeat, Harp touted her administration’s accomplishments, and her vision of brining the city together.
“We have brought people together from clear across our city. People from different cultures, different races, with a vision that we would be the city, and we will be still, where everyone no matter where you come from, no matter how rich, no matter how poor, everyone has an opportunity and a chance to make something of themselves," she said.
This isn't the first time Elicker and Harp have gone head-to-head - he lost to her when she first ran for mayor six years ago.
Harp can still run in the general election and still has the endorsement of the Working Families Party. When asked what her plans were, she said "I'll let you know."