In high school, Gary Holder-Winfield’s track coach drilled the team on running through the “T” — pushing one’s hardest all the way through the finish line.
Holder-Winfield, a Democratic state representative running to replace Mayor Toni Harp in the state Senate, emphasized that message to a crowd of around 20 campaign volunteers before a Saturday canvass.
It was just three days before Tuesday’s special election, in which Holder-Winfield faces Republican Steven R. Mullins in a race to represent the 10th state Senate District, which encompasses about half of New Haven and a slice of West Haven, where Mullins lives. Toni Harp resigned the seat last month upon becoming New Haven’s mayor.
Holder-Winfield also canvassed Sunday in the Westville neighborhood with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy. Mullins walked Westville on Saturday. (Click here to read Mary O"Leary’s report about that in the Register.) Mullins also launched an aggressive direct-mail, TV and robocall attack campaign this weekend against Holder-Winfield, tying him to sexual predators as well as to a 2010 property-tax proposal that his allies introduced but never succeeded in bringing to a vote.
The biggest worry for the Holder-Winfield campaign, the candidate has stressed, is complacency: Low-turnout special elections can occasionally produce unexpected results even in Democrat-heavy New Haven and West Haven.
“This isn’t a race that’s over, this is a race I think is a real race,” Holder-Winfield said Saturday.
Joining Holder-Winfield at headquartes was state Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, who called the candidate a “strong voice for urban Connecticut.” Holder-Winfield’s victory, Looney told campaign volunteers, would be important to maintaining Democrats’ Senate majority.
Before Saturday, Holder-Winfield’s campaign had knocked on 4,199 doors out of its goal of 5,000. But by 2 p.m., Holder-Winfield campaign manager said volunteers had knocked on at least an additional 1,500 doors in the two town — running through the “T.”
Previous coverage of this race:
• Mullins Gets Churched
• Mullins Asks State To “Seize” New Haven Election
• On The Trail, The Political Becomes Personal
• Labor Backs Holder-Winfield
• Candidate Cries Foul At Clerk’s Office
• Holder-Winfield Files For Public Dough
• Holder-Winfield Wins Party Endorsement
• Goldson Drops Out
• Candidates Vow To Run On Clean Money
• Holder-Winfield Eyes Harp’s Senate Seat