Some Favorite Sites
Government/ Community Links
Two Concede, One Rallies
by Thomas MacMillan, Cora Lewis & Allan Appel | Sep 10, 2013 11:20 pm
Posted to: Campaign 2013
Of the three mayoral candidates who didn’t win Tuesday’s primary election, two gave concession speeches. The third, Justin Elicker offered a math lesson.
Elicker, who came in second place behind candidate Toni Harp, added the votes he won Tuesday to the votes he expects to win running as an independent candidate in the general election, and came up with victory.
Elicker offered that equation Tuesday night in O’Toole’s pub on Orange Street, where 100 of his supporters gathered after the polls closed. Click the play arrow to watch.
Elicker and Harp are running to be the next mayor of New Haven. Until Tuesday, two other candidates—Henry Fernandez and Kermit Carolina—were also running. After coming in third and fourth respectively, they both announced they would not continue their bids into the general election, even though they had petitioned to do so.
Elicker announced he will continue on to the general election in November. After congratulating his opponents and thanking his campaign team, Elicker presented the path to victory he hopes to follow.
He said Carolina and Fernandez “did a great job and ate up a lot of my support around the city.” With that being the case, “it’s no wonder we didn’t do as well as I would have hoped.”
He offered some “simple math.” He said a handful of Carolina and Fernandez’s supporters will go to Harp, and the rest will go to him.
New Haven has over 20,000 non-Democratic registered voters in the city, 18,316 of whom are unaffiliated. “About 4,000 of those folks will vote,” Elicker predicted. He predicted they will vote for him.
“Why are they unaffiliated? Because they are tired of politics as usual,” Elicker said. “Those people are ours!”
Elicker offered some other math: “We have zero dollars.” He asked people to donate to his campaign, in amounts of $370 or less. Elicker is forswearing donations of greater than that amount, a voluntary move to abide by the rules of New Haven public campaign financing program even though the rules no longer apply to his campaign now that they primary has ended.
Carolina Submits To City’s “Will”
At his Dixwell Plaza headquarters Tuesday night after the election results came in, Carolina thanked his supporters. “You put everything on the line, everything you’ve had,” he said. “You sacrificed your time, your energy.” He acknowledged that the campaign “probably strained some relationships,” but said he felt as though he stood for “being a voice for the have-nots in this city.”
Carolina called his campaign “well-organized and meticulous,” while acknowledging state Sen. Toni Harp’s “resounding” win. He congratulated the senator on her campaign, saying, “The people have spoken in the city of New Haven, and I submit to the will of the people.”
Carolina also congratulated Elicker and Fernandez, both of whom he said has “great respect for,” and said he was looking forward to getting back to work as principal of Hillhouse High School. He said he had snuck off the campaign trail to check on his students twice that day.
Carolina said he would continue to “fight for the most vulnerable in the city: our youth and our elderly. I’m not going anywhere. This is the city I love.”
Fernandez Feels the Love
After stating he will not pursue the mayor’s office in the general election, Fernandez reminded his supporters, gathered at Michael’s bar and restaurant on Court Street, of the issues his campaign had focused on, including poverty and education.
“Poverty is too powerful in this city. It’s taken down too many kids. We have to be honest about the fact that our public schools just aren’t good enough for our children,” he said.
Fernandez said he was proud to have been a part of his supporters’ lives and expressed hope for future change: “We’ll be able to keep it going. We’ll be able to get the leadership we deserve.”
After congratulating “those people who finished first and second,” Fernandez filled the crowd in on his immediate plans.
“I hope you all will have a drink because I know I’m going to have one,” he said. “Just know, I love you guys.”
“We love you, Henry,” an audience member said as applause broke out.
After taking a moment to talk about his family—wife Kica and young son Henry, Fernandez concluded, “I have been in and out of politics my whole life, and I have to say, this is the best reception I have seen for a third place finish.”
Post a Comment
The machine showed last night how huge it actually Is, it knocked out two honest candidates out of the race.
There’s now only one left standing, staggering after the long battle against the money party.
I am an Elicker fan and like having a real choice besides Toni Harp in the general, but his language here is bad.
“They ate up my support…” and “Those people are ours…” are very unflattering and unpalatable lines from someone I really like. It takes too much for granted. Saying, “I will ask those voters for their support in November” and “Independent voters, I am asking for your vote” would be much better ways to say the same thing.
Elicker’s math is right on. Unaffiliated voters are generally dissatisfied with career politicians like Harp, and machines that try to control the democratic process, like the current BOA supermajority. Why would they betray their own beliefs and endorse the Harp/Labor machine?
NHI had great coverage, but the NHR has the best post-election photo so far.
Its called, “Don’t touch me, I won”
With respect to the “Machine” talk, over 6,000 individuals came out and voted for Senator Harp. No one was with any of those individuals as they cast their vote. There is no machine, no conspiracy. There was a candidate who is and will always be better than her competition. The majority (or close enough to it) of the voting contingent recognized this and acted accordingly.
The remainder, sore losers. I don’t get why rather than blaming a machine, you don’t blame your candidate for not connecting with people in the same way? Why not blame your candidate for his lack of experience or connections with members of even his own board of alders? Why not take a more in-depth view of why your guy lost than just saying, “hey, it was the man that did it.” You all sound like a criminal at the end of a Scooby Doo episode, “and I would’ve gotten away for it if it weren’t for those meddling kids.” Grow up!
Are the Carolina and Fernandez videos supposed to be private? I can’t watch them.
[Ed: Fixed. Sorry. Thanks for alerting us.]
Atticus Shrugged, do you know what a sore winner is?
The measure of a person in The Good Fight is how well they pick themselves up after they have been knocked down.
We know that the Harp campaigned paid individuals who had know idea about Sen. Harp or her platform (or her opponents’ platforms) to do footwork.
Draw your own conclusions.
No need to insult folks from the other campaigns, particularly when those who ran with dignity and complete honesty.
I am an educator and currently teach classes on local political practices. In order to maintain balance and fluidity, an Independent candidate is necessary. Adding another candidate would only cause distractions and would be compared to Ross Perot of the Bush Clinton race. Elicker’s votes would be diluted. It is too late for another candidate to enter the Mayoral race. Andy Ross (currently running for Alderman in Ward 8) still holds an important card and can be the spoiler to the general election. He is still on the ballot as an Independent for November. If Andy Ross decides to go forward as a Mayoral candidate, I would hope that the present candidates would work just as hard; without taking anyone else’s goals for granted. Our common goal is to pick the best leader there is for this city. Run Andy Run! It will be healthy for the community.
“Those people are ours” to reach out to!
Knowing Justin even just a little bit, I’m certain that was the intent. He’s not a cocky dude.
Luv, Elicker may have been running on a few hours of sleep in the past week—just like Senator Harp may have been when she said degrading and incredibly insulting things about people with a chronic gambling addiction in order to try to justify her vote to bring Keno to every corner store in New Haven.
I suppose we should cut these candidates some slack for not being articulate at all times. Go to a typical meeting at City Hall or the Board of Ed, and you’ll find Elicker outmaneuvering rooms full of city and state officials with his arguments, as he stands up for what city residents, parents, and low income people need.
Given how terrified they are of advocates for everyday residents, it’s no wonder that Renaissance Management is spending thousands of dollars on a campaign whose main policy proposals so far involve eliminating the Democracy Fund and LCI.
They got 12% of the total Registered Democrat vote with their anti-Democracy Fund platform. The key question now is how much outside money they need to spend to get more of it.
The Harp campaign obtained over 4,000 signatures in 3 days. It did so without paying anyone! The Harp campaign received just about 50% of the vote. It did so because it had the better candidate. I get that everyone is trying to spin their own story of how things went so terribly wrong. But sometimes you’ve just placed your bet on a loser.
I’m glad to see that you’re doubling down.
I’m disappointed in Fernandez’s concession speech. Poverty *is* important, but he’s pointing the finger in the wrong direction. Schools are an important part of ameliorating poverty, but like too many politicians, he’s pointing the finger at them to the exclusion of the broader issues.
More broadly, Mr. Fernandez, why aren’t you addressing the economic desiccation of the middle- and lower-classes, which has happened largely at the hands of and for the benefit of an increasingly small, elite, and entirely separate upper class? That is the core issue with school achievement—wide-spread poverty isn’t solved in schools, but as Diane Ravitch has noted on many occasions, poverty is the most significant factor influencing childrens’ performance in school. Good, stable jobs strengthen and stabilize families (whatever their make up) and give kids the home-life anchor they need to live up to their potential in school.
To borrow old phrase, “It’s the economy, [Henry].”
Atticus: The conversation, on the verge of spilling over with your disrespect, has now ended.
May you be the shining start of Harp’s campaign to the public.
Atticus, will Renaissance Management and its lawyers be doubling down on Harp ($10,000+ in the next cycle), or will it be more like tripling or quadrupling down?
It will be interesting to see how much Harp’s proposal to eliminate LCI and the Democracy Fund worth to them, as well as other city slumlords.
I’ve reviewed the donor charts for Senator Harp and I don’t see a single check from Renaissance Management. So, I don’t know where this $4,300 is coming from. Or rather, I don’t get why Renaissance is being dragged through the mud when it as a company did not donate. Everyone else is an individual who has a vested interest in the City either because they work or own property here.
The last I checked, attorneys are individuals. They have every right to contribute as they see or deem fit. I might chastise Mr. Stratton and his family for donating to Mr. Elicker but it is absolutely their right. And I don’t doubt that his firm will look to obtain work from the City should Mr. Elicker get elected. Conflict of interest, yes. Perhaps he and his firm should swear off taking any work from the City in the event Mr. Elicker is elected - even if they were the best qualified.
But I don’t live in a glass house and I don’t throw stones. Perhaps you should pay more careful attention to your candidates own donor list. Just a thought!
Atticus, you just need to read the donor lists more carefully and talk with some people who have ever worked for big city contractors. Partners and lawyers almost always chip in $1,000 each (per cycle), and staff beyond that are also “asked” to contribute small amounts which do not even factor into the totals. Of the staff of large companies donating to Harp, a review of the filings showed that 95.0% do not live in the City. Renaissance Management is run by Senator Harp’s son, who has also publicly sponsored pricey fundraisers for Sen. Harp which partly do not figure into the $4,300 total either. They aren’t even one of the biggest donors, as a “company.”
We really need to get this behavior out of City Hall.
@ Anon—“...you’ll find Elicker outmaneuvering rooms full of city and state officials with his arguments, as he stands up for what city residents, parents, and low income people need.”
Ha, ha, ha. Looking at the city-wide voting results, I don’t think Elicker would know a “low income” person if they bit him on the arse. Richie Rich (aka the man from New Canaan) ran incredibly strong in the East Rock wards (and 1 Westville ward), but remains a non-entity and no show in the West Rock, Newhallville, Dixwell, Dwight, Hill and Fair Haven wards. Somehow, those residents didn’t get the message that Elicker has been tirelessly working on their behalf for the brief period of his aldermanic existence.
BTW: I am curious why you don’t mention the contributions Elicker received from his family—his father is a Wall Street lawyer and Sister is a investment manager.
posted by: Jonathan Hopkins on September 13, 2013 2:17pm
Do you think that Justin’s father donated to him because he is a Wall Street investment banker looking to capitalize on his son’s position in a small municipal government, or do you think it might be because Justin is his son?