In a gesture of party unity, New Haven Democrats unanimously backed Gary Holder-Winfield for the city’s open State Senate seat at Thursday’s endorsement convention.
Holder-Winfield, a state representative, won the endorsement at the convention at the Hall of Records of 200 Orange St.
Invoking party unity, Juan Candelaria, dropped out of the race an hour and a half before the convention. Candelaria said he got in the race too late and found out that too many of the 60 convention delegates had already committed to Holder-Winfield. He decided to bow out rather than battle his opponent on the floor.
Candelaria (pictured), a state representative, was one of three Democrats who had announced campaigns for the 10th State Senate District seat, from which Toni Harp resigned this month to take up her new duties as New Haven’s 50th mayor.
Holder-Winfield now faces former West Rock Alderman Darnell Goldson in a Feb. 25 special election. Holder-Winfield is the Democratic nominee; Goldson is gathering signatures to run as a petitioning candidate.
Candelaria announced his decision to leave the race at a 5:30 p.m. press conference outside 200 Orange St. Candelaria’s candidacy had the support of some party leaders. But he entered the race later than the other two candidates. Candelaria said he met with Mayor Toni Harp and her chief of staff, Tomas Reyes, Thursday morning to discuss the race. He said he received “no pressure” to drop out. He said 2014—when Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has a tough reelection challenge—is “an important election year for all Democrats.”
“A fractured Democratic party in New Haven is not what I want to see,” he said. “We need to unify the party now more than ever.”
Candelaria threw his support behind Holder-Winfield.
In brief remarks upon accepting the party endorsement, Holder-Winfield thanked Candelaria for his support.
He said his next step will be to start raising money to qualify for the state public campaign finance program.
Goldson (pictured), meanwhile, announced he has surpassed the 272 voters’ signatures he needs to get on the ballot. The signatures are due Friday at 4 p.m. He said he plans to turn them in around midday.
He characterized the race as “Darnell vs. Goliath,” because Holder-Winfield now has the support of the party “machine.”
“I’ve had some of these battles before,” Goldson said. “They don’t scare me.”
posted by: ELMCITYPROF on January 16, 2014 7:47pm
Soooo Juan didn’t realize two Democrats running against each other for the party nod would cause division when he entered the race 4 days ago?? Come on guys. What REALLY happened? Who got into Juan’s ear from the party? What position has he been promised? Will he run for mayor in the next 4 years?
posted by: Bill Saunders on January 16, 2014 8:37pm
Go Go Goldson!!!!!
Holder-Winfield, stay where you are.
posted by: Xavier on January 16, 2014 10:37pm
JC takes one for the party.
Kind of hope JC ran so One City Henry could have another go of elected office, unless he is waiting for Rosa to (finally) retire.
posted by: obi on January 17, 2014 5:15am
With the hand picked convention delegate list Candelaria had no chance no matter when he entered race. Winfield’s endorsement no surprise either. Goldson I admire for his strong-will and perseverance…..and the SENATE SEAT WINNER is Gary Holder-Winfield.
posted by: Threefifths on January 17, 2014 7:08am
Candelaria said he met with Mayor Toni Harp and her chief of staff, Tomas Reyes, Thursday morning to discuss the race.
There it is.
posted by: ElmCity Jim on January 17, 2014 7:36am
I hope that the GOP nominated a candidate ( or will nominate someone) for this position. To let a Democratic nominating convention select the next state senator from this district without any major party opposition is absurd. I hope that Darnell Goldson is successful with his petitions but I would certainly prefer a Republican candidate to vote for.
posted by: obi on January 17, 2014 8:23am
@ ElmCity Jim Re: “GOP nominated a candidate ( or will nominate someone) for this position.” When did they last have a candidate for anything? If I’m not mistaken the last GOP person was Edward White who lost his mayoral run. Now that goes back many years. The GOP in New Haven is like Newt Gingrich said of his party Re: 2016 ? Hillary Clinton for president, IE they don’t have anyone to run against her. This applies to GOP in New Haven for this senate seat. Since then many have thought Chris Cristy was their front runner. But after this email his run is in question > ‘Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,’
As Threefifths said, There it is.
posted by: WestvilleCitizen on January 17, 2014 10:29am
Gary Holder-Winfield is a highly competent and experienced legislator. As far as I know, he has no relevant skeletons in the closet that would reflect on his personal financial responsibility (e.g. he pays his taxes). He has further articulated his commitment to ethics with his support of public campaign financing. He supports traditional democratic causes while approaching them with an independent mind (i.e. he’s not the type to fall blindly for anybody’s “movement” mantra). GHW is precisely a candidate for whom party unity sounds well-earned to me. I am willing to hear out Mr. Goldson, but I haven’t yet heard anything that remotely wins me over. DG, I wish you best of luck, but tell us what you bring to the table that’s preferable to GHW.
posted by: Anderson Scooper on January 17, 2014 11:35am
BIG QUESTION: Folowing the 2011 redistricting, half of Gary’s State Rep district is now in Hamden. Who will be running for the soon to be empty seat, and who can hold it for New Haven?
Charlie Blango is definitely in, as of now, and last night several people mentioned that a local reverend is also thinking about running. But of course it would be better if there were only one New Haven Democrat running against whomever they put forward from Hamden.
Fwiw, but keep in mind that it is a very short period from when Gary resigns, to a convention, endorsement, and petitions are due.
posted by: Threefifths on January 17, 2014 2:07pm
Again.Can so body Read this statement. Candelaria announced his decision to leave the race at a 5:30 p.m. press conference outside 200 Orange St. Candelaria’s candidacy had the support of some party leaders. But he entered the race later than the other two candidates. Candelaria said he met with Mayor Toni Harp and her chief of staff, Tomas Reyes, Thursday morning to discuss the race.What does harp and Reyes have to do with this race.People wake up.As Brother Malcolm X said.You’ve been HOODWINKED, BAMBOOZLED.You can see the deal that was cut!!! I will say it again.We need to get rid of the two party political system.With a two party system political system, politics has become a battle for power or to maintain that power, rather than its initial purpose which is to represent the people, act as a voice for the people and do what is best for the people. I get the fact that people have different ideology but in all honesty all ideas basically result in that group of people having maximum gain, minimum loss.In the end I just think we should stop focusing on the balance for power but rather focus on what is best for the people.
My Bad. I remember reading long ago that. Newly formed democracies normally opt for the parliamentary system over this foolishness we have.
posted by: obi on January 18, 2014 7:54am
@ElmCity Jim you got your wish. Steve Mullins R from West Have is running.