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Elicker Makes It Official

by Paul Bass | Jan 23, 2013 9:07 am

(22) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Justin Elicker has finished “exploring”—and is declaring himself an official candidate for mayor.

Elicker, a two-term East Rock alderman, said he is filing papers Wednesday to launch an official mayoral campaign against fellow Democrat John DeStefano, the 10-term incumbent.

Paul Bass Photo Elicker (pictured) plans to make his official announcement at 7 p.m. Thursday at Manjares coffee shop in Westville Village.

For the past two months Elicker has held some 100 one-and-one and small-group meetings around town testing the waters for a candidacy.

The reaction was clear, he claimed.

“People are hungering for a change,” he said. “They want the next mayor of new Haven to bring some new ideas and new energy” to the job.

Elicker has already put himself behind one new idea: creating a “hybrid” Board of Education, half elected, half appointed by the mayor. New Haven currently has the only fully appointed school board in the state; Elicker argues that elections could help involve more parents in public education.

Click on the play arrow below to watch Elicker make his case for the hybrid board as well as explain the charter revision process through which citizens will vote on the issue. And click here for a story on the subject, in which Mayor DeStefano argues that the change would politicize public education and dismisses Elicker’s stand as “someone political creating an issue.”

As he launches his official campaign, Elicker has resolved a funding dilemma. He plans to participate in the city’s Democracy Fund, which offers public money to mayoral candidates who abide by spending and fund-raising limits. But because of a loophole in the law, he has to spend any money raised by his pre-campaign “exploratory” committee before signing up for the Democracy Fund. (Click here to read about that dilemma.) As it turned out, Elicker said, his exploratory committee raised only around $500. So he said he plans to spend all that money by Thursday, at which point he’ll sign up for the Democracy Fund.

DeStefano, who began his 2013 reelection campaign last year, welcomed Elicker into the race.

“Vibrant mayoral campaigns are a good thing,” DeStefano said Tuesday evening. “I look forward to an exchange of ideas in 2013.” Click on the play arrow to watch DeStefano discuss breaking the record recently for serving the longest tenure as mayor in New Haven history.

DeStefano has been highlighting recent gains in the public schools and community policing. Elicker has argued that citizens don’t feel plugged enough into those campaigns and want their ideas heard more.

Gary Holder-Winfield has been making those same arguments. Holder-Winfield, a third-term Democratic state representative from Newhallville, has an exploratory mayoral campaign set up, too. He plans to announce within weeks whether he, too, will officially join the Democratic mayoral primary race. Click here for a previous story on that; click on the play arrow to watch him discuss his reasons for considering a run.

Elicker’s announcement has no bearing on his own plans, Holder-Winfield said Tuesday evening.

“I’m sticking to my schedule. I’m expecting things to go well and at the end of the month to be filing” for an official mayoral run, he said.

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posted by: HhE on January 23, 2013  9:47am

“Vibrant mayoral campaigns are a good thing,” DeStefano said Wednesday evening. “I look forward to an exchange of ideas in 2013.”  The other candidates is where he gets his good ideas. 

I’m bringing my cheque book to the next Eastrock CMT.

posted by: Curious on January 23, 2013  10:43am

Unless Holder-Winfield does something to blow me away, Justin’s got my vote.

posted by: ElmCityMama on January 23, 2013  11:02am

DeStefano is tongue-tied bu his own inability to come up with anything fresh or insightful to say.

Great things have happened in this city over the past 20 years - sometimes because of him and many time despite him. Yet our schools under-perform shockingly, our crime rates are up again, our taxes are high enough to drive people to the burbs, and our air quality is the 7th worst in the country. 

It is time for a new approach to The Way We Do Things Here.

posted by: sillyputty on January 23, 2013  12:08pm

This is fantastic news for our city.  Justin is a deliberate and analytical representative with boundless energy and real personal warmth.  He’s got my vote.

posted by: SaveOurCity on January 23, 2013  12:39pm

Awesome!!

Looking forward to helping Justin in any way that I can.

posted by: New Haven parent on January 23, 2013  12:46pm

Justin is right - we need school board reform to ensure greater accountability and enable parents’ concerns to be heard.  He has my vote.  New ideas and new energies in the mayor’s office would be very welcome.

posted by: streever on January 23, 2013  12:58pm

This is beyond good news.

I am happy for New Haven that it will have the chance to elect a thoughtful, considerate, and humble individual for Mayor.

posted by: anonymous on January 23, 2013  2:16pm

I’m glad we have people running who are known for standing up for the truth instead of spending their time holding press conferences about how the murder rate has dropped (when, as Holder-Winfield pointed out recently, it actually hasn’t). This city needs a huge dose of truthfulness before it will be able to make progress on anything. Getting good people to run for public office is one of the best ways to do that.

posted by: HewNaven on January 23, 2013  3:08pm

Great news! Maybe I will stay in New Haven after all.

posted by: Threefifths on January 23, 2013  6:58pm

Why has Justin Elicker not talked about TERM LIMITS.

posted by: SaveOurCity on January 23, 2013  10:30pm

@threefifths:  Have you asked Justin about term limits?  Just because an issue doesn’t make it into an article about a candidacy announcement does not mean that the candidate has not articulated a position on the issue.  You’re postings would be better educated if you did some research before making an accusatory statement.

posted by: Brutus2011 on January 24, 2013  1:25am

DeStefano, Elicker, Holder-Winfield = (hopefully) real choice for New Haven.

Hooray!

posted by: Threefifths on January 24, 2013  10:49am

posted by: SaveOurCity on January 23, 2013 9:30pm

@threefifths:  Have you asked Justin about term limits?  Just because an issue doesn’t make it into an article about a candidacy announcement does not mean that the candidate has not articulated a position on the issue.  You’re postings would be better educated if you did some research before making an accusatory statement.

Did you ask him?

posted by: streever on January 24, 2013  11:30am

3/5ths:
in this story, “http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/charter_revision_looms/”, which you commented on 3 times!, Elicker voices support for term limits. I’ve pasted the comment below:


If a maximum of eight years in office is good enough for the country’s president, “it should be good enough for our city,” said Alderman Elicker. People argue that term limits would mean the city wouldn’t be able to have a good mayor like DeStefano for so long, Elicker said. “I give other New Haveners more credit than that.” There are other people in the city who could do a good job as mayor, he said.

posted by: SaveOurCity on January 24, 2013  11:54am

Streever:  Thanks for the link.  Facts trump baseless allegations.

NHI:  Thanks for the coverage.  Having it in writing helps us all.

posted by: Curious on January 24, 2013  2:13pm

Every NHI article should have default comments from 3/5ths complaining about the two-party system and term limits, and from Anonymous on the tram system.  It would save everyone a lot of time.

posted by: abg22 on January 24, 2013  2:35pm

I don’t mean to put ThreeFifths on suicide watch, but municipal term limits are probably not allowed under Connecticut state law. Contrary to popular belief the home rule provisions in CT General Statutes are actually quite weak. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble. http://newhavenpolitics.tumblr.com/post/40845577438/are-term-limits-off-the-table-in-charter-revision

posted by: HhE on January 24, 2013  2:40pm

Curious, the other night I was talking with streever, and I expressed the theory that three-fifths was a computer algorithm.  Streever told me that no, he is a real person, and that he had seen a photo. 

I just hope I never come off as a one trick pony, whose trick is a broken record.  Do me a solid, if I ever am, tell me. 


SaveOurCity, you would think facts trumps baseless allegations.  Fortunately, streever has our back.  It appears that three-fifths expects you to do his research for him.  Nothing new there.

posted by: sillyputty on January 24, 2013  3:03pm

@abg22
Perhaps one could advocate at the state level for cities to be specifically delegated the “tool” of term limits.

posted by: streever on January 24, 2013  3:15pm

Oh yes, 3/5ths is (strangely enough) a real person.

The beautiful irony in him demanding that Elicker speak on term limits when, in fact, Elicker has—and in an article that we know 3/5ths interacted with, although one realizes we can never know if 3/5ths actually read the article—is amazing, and definitely should serve as a solid inducement to Bass et all to replace him with an automated posting process on term limits.

[Bass: It’s even more fun to speak with 3/5th in person. One of my favorite parts of the week. Usually happens by the bananas and avocados.]

posted by: Threefifths on January 24, 2013  6:52pm

@abg22 Check this out.It can be done through Charter Revision.

Bristol mulls over term limits for city officials.

http://www.bristolpress.com/articles/2012/12/09/news/doc50c40487c2efe422455235.txt


posted by: Curious on January 24, 2013 1:13pm

Every NHI article should have default comments from 3/5ths complaining about the two-party system and term limits, and from Anonymous on the tram system.  It would save everyone a lot of time

And what is wrong complaining about the two-party system and term limits.In fact the major of the American People wnat to get rid of the two-party system and bring in term limits.Do you.

posted by: jayfairhaven on January 24, 2013  7:34pm

curious, your comment got an honest to goodness LOL out of me.

good luck to justin and the new candidates, i’m looking forward to voting in a new mayor next election.

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