Carolina Huddles On Endorsement

The first potential prize in the mayoral general election is taking the weekend to think about his plans.

His name is Kermit Carolina. He was one of four Democrats who ran in Tuesday’s party mayoral primary. Toni Harp won that primary. Now she and Justin Elicker, who is running as in independent, are the last two candidates in the race as it heads to the Nov. 5 general election.

Both camps would like to see Carolina, whose base is in the black community, endorse their candidate.

Carolina said Wednesday that he’s listening to both sides and then “meeting with my campaign team over the weekend.” He said he will “make an announcement” Monday on whether he will endorse a candidate, and whom.

Otherwise, he said, “I’m focused on Hillhouse,” the high school where he serves as principal.

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posted by: LuvNewHaven on September 12, 2013  8:24am

My bet is no endorsement.  He can’t endorse Harp after being so critical of her in the primary without making himself a laughingstock, and endorsing Justin would put him even higher on Harp’s list.

posted by: robn on September 12, 2013  8:32am

Politics makes strange bedfellows. Who knows; in couple of weeks we might see Harp, Malloy and Kermit playing bocci in Wooster Sq with Mayor D.

posted by: anonymous on September 12, 2013  9:11am

He would look silly to endorse a candidate who likely will be taking in millions from outside interests, including somewhere around $15k from Renaissance Management alone.

posted by: obi on September 12, 2013  9:46am

Monday we will all know. I PRAY he will support Elicker.  But if he decides not to announce who he supports I can live with that too. Any more support for toni would be liken to Weicker.  He said he would not give Ct. residents a state tax, as it would be like pouring gasoline on a burning fire.  Less than 3 months in office he lit that fire which is still burning today. At the time it was to be a temporary tax.  And as far as Toni taking back the city, reducing crime, eliminating gun violence etc. if you beleive that I’ll build you a bridge. She will be as successful at that as President Obama is in getting support from the obstructionist republican house with Boener at the helm.

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on September 12, 2013  10:47am

In politics, truth is always stranger than fiction.
In one of the debates, the candidates were asked which one they would endorse. Elicker was the only one to give an answer. He said he would endorse Carolina. One would then be inclined to believe that Carolina would repay Elicker’s gesture by supporting him in the race. Throughout the campaign Elicker and Carolina have been quite amicable, never making any serious attacks or criticisms of one another. It may be said that they have developed a friendship based on mutual respect and admiration. Surely Elicker would see a Carolina endorsement as a way to help him get major support in the black community.
After verbally and graphically calling Harp and her family slumlords who live off their tenants in palatial splendor in Westville and Bethany, after accusing Harp of being absent from the black community for decades and being unconcerned about poverty, crime and violence in New Haven, after saying Harp was too old and a puppet of the unions, special interests, and the Democratic machine, it is not bloody likely that Kermit Carolina will endorse Harp. It would make him look like a fool.
But strange things happen in politics.
Would Harp or Elicker really want a Carolina endorsement? He got far less than 9 per cent of the votes. He did not carry a single ward, not even in his old neighborhood Dixwell, Newhallville, the Hill or Fair Haven. No major black group or organization endorsed him. So what can Carolina deliver to benefit either candidate?
This political prognosticator would predict that Carolina endorses no one or Elicker. But he could also surprise us all and endorse Harp. Strange, but possible.
Only Kermit Carolina knows for sure. Next Monday’s revelation could be quite interesting, embarrassing or both.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on September 12, 2013  12:01pm

Heh, with the school year now in full swing, I’m betting he decides to endorse no one.  Which would save a huge amount of time he’d otherwise be expected to spend campaigning for his choice.

posted by: Razzie on September 12, 2013  2:02pm

TAP—“He got far less than 9 per cent of the votes. He did not carry a single ward, not even in his old neighborhood Dixwell, Newhallville, the Hill or Fair Haven. No major black group or organization endorsed him. So what can Carolina deliver to benefit either candidate?”


He can’t deliver any of his votes to Elicker, because what few votes he got belong to Toni.

He doesn’t have much to offer Toni because she already crushed him and his voters have no where to go, except stay home if they don’t like Toni.

posted by: Atticus Shrugged on September 12, 2013  2:59pm

Allow me to say this before he actually endorses someone: his endorsement is toxic.  If I were either candidate, I wouldn’t request his endorsement, especially not if it came with any express or implied quid pro quo. 

Now, when his endorsement comes out - I will gladly be able to say, “but who cares?”

posted by: canadachris on September 12, 2013  3:00pm

Its simple. Kermit will support Elicker. If he can draw away enough Black voters, Elicker may win. In return Kerm is promised a prominent position in Elicker’s “inner cicle”. Is Kerm a smart enough politician to realize that if Elicker wins, which I doubt, he will be cast aside. He will have served his purpose.

posted by: HewNaven on September 12, 2013  5:03pm

If he’s a man of his word, Carolina will endorse Elicker. He was the most vocally opposed to the Harp campaign before the primary, it would be self-serving to silence himself now, only that he is not running. We need Carolina’s voice in this race. He has brought a lot of important issues to the forefront, and in many ways, has actually shaped the conversation. Who can forget the invitation to drive to Rosette Street after the debate? This is a courageous man who is willing to speak truth to power. We need him in New Haven politics.

posted by: LuvNewHaven on September 12, 2013  5:23pm

Carolina has a lot of passionate supporters.  At least some of those voters will swing over to whoever he decides to support…whatever the Harperati would rather tell themselves.

posted by: citoyen on September 12, 2013  5:27pm

Allow me to say this before he actually endorses someone: he’s got two choices with which he might feel comfortable.

In the summer of 2011, he declined to endorse DeStefano, saying that since he was friends with both Graves and Dawson, he felt he had to remain neutral. If he stays neutral from here on this year, that would be consistent.

During this year’s primary campaign, he called for a new sort of political culture in this city, which is what Justin would like to see also. If K endorses J, that would be consistent.

I hardly see that either of those choices would be toxic, to him or to Justin’s campaign.  On the other hand, if he endorsed Harp, he would lose a lot of respect for seeming a coward and a hypocrite. I doubt he would do that.

Now, when his endorsement comes out - I will gladly be able to say, “Well done, Kerm.”

posted by: ElmCityVoice on September 12, 2013  6:51pm

I hope Kerm returns to the constituency that relies on him to “win”. The students at Hillhouse need their principal back.

posted by: True that on September 12, 2013  7:07pm

Although Carolina hot fewer votes than he would have liked, his support for a candidate is still important and cannot be characterized by sane people as toxic.  The general election is problematic for Harp for a number of reasons:

1) independents, unaffiliateds, and Republicans can vote.  So few democrats actually voted, that this primary does not paint a clear electoral picture.
2) Many of the voters noted above are White, and whether people want to admit it or not, whites who are indie, unaffiliateds or republican will vote for Justin because he is white (and I happen to be,ieve he is the better candidate).

3) i cannot envision a scenario in which Carolina would endorse Harp.  He is a man of integrity and character and he would never sell-out.  He’d look like Tony Dawson endorsing DeStefano and looking quite foolish the entire time.
4) to those who suggest that Carolina was splitting the black vote for Justin, keep in mind that Carolina entered the race before Toni did.
5) Toni is already having issues with her doctor donors.  This is just the

Kermit is way too smart and principled to support Toni.  If he supports Justin, he would show consistency in supporting clean election.  Though I have serious reservations about Justin, and 100x more regarding Toni, Justin is now the best candidate in the race.

posted by: Sarah.Miller on September 13, 2013  1:43pm

There are a few heroes left out there who still stand up for what they really believe in, for their values rather than for what is politically expedient. Throughout the campaign, Kermit showed us that he might be one of them. If he endorses Elicker on Monday, we’ll know that it wasn’t just an act. Go Kermit!

posted by: Razzie on September 13, 2013  4:05pm

@ True That

Sorry to have to point this out, but Carolina was the last person to enter the race. He did not get in before Toni.

I would also point out that I found very little in Kerm’s campaign to constitute “clean” campaigning. His constant smears and misrepresentations of Sen Harp’s record and character (and age, and dead husband, etc) took the campaign into territory it never should have entered. He proposed little new for New Haven, while continually neglecting his Hillhouse High School responsibilities. Accepting a $24,000 check from the Democracy Fund doesn’t wash Kerm’s hands clean of the dirt he spread and the damage he did.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on September 13, 2013  4:09pm

Your dead wrong. First he will win. Second Elicker will not make any deals with anyone. That is why unite does not like him. He is about the people and that is it! And third most of Elicker supporters are also supporters of Kermit and I am sure if we feel Kerm should be in a place were more can benefit from his love of this city…I know Justin will take our opinions to heart.

I agree with most post..Kerm’s logical thing is to support Elicker. If he supported Harp that would be crazy. Same thing with Henry.. he gained the respect of many…if he supported Harp I think he would take a few steps back by doing so, he made the right choice to not doing anything. I do how ever like that he support this style of runoff.