Elicker En-Gages Campaign Manager

Justin Elicker has drawn a millennial from Bridgeport to guide his challenge to New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Elicker announced Thursday that he has hired the veteran, Gage Frank, to serve as his campaign manager. Elicker is mounting a Democratic primary campaign, leaving open his options for an independent general election run as well. (Click here for a full story on his campaign announcement.)

Frank has managed campaigns for Bridgeport State Sen. Marilyn Moore and State Reps. Jack Hennessy and Steve Stafstrom and co-founded an effort to revive Bridgeport’s Young Democrats group, which included helping to elect three primary challengers to incumbent City Council members. He was among a group of activists who pushed the Bridgeport’s Council in 2017 to adopt a “sanctuary city” resolution.

Elicker, who is 43, has made a generational change a theme of his campaign, arguing that Baby Boomers need to make room for new leaders in public office.

FacebookFrank just turned 27.

In a conversation Thursday, Frank seconded the youth/change theme.

“Young people are critical for the future,” he said. He called the 2018 mid-term elections “proof that young people are waking up and voting.”

And, he said, “It’s always good to have a new set of eyes on things” in public office.

In a release, Elicker said Frank “brings a tremendous amount of experience to the job and is well suited to lead our team.”

Frank grew up in Bridgeport. He attended Fairfield Prep and then the University of Scranton, after which he returned home and dived into politics.

“My single mom sacrificed a lot for us to get the education we did get,” Frank said. He said he’s “really excited to work for Justin.”

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posted by: FacChec on January 31, 2019  7:30pm

Difficult to read and understand Elickers justification based on millennials as his chosen age group and choosing an out of townee to run his campaign. Gage Frank is not familiar with the vocal or silent players in New Haven politics. This action shows that Elicker is neither familar or in touch with the central players or majority voters. Hell just look at the age of the ward chairs and that of the alders, Not millennials. When you consider age data from the 2010 census

Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 more information
2010 Demographic Profile Data New Haven CT.


Millennials = Appox 30,000
20 to 24 years   15,378   11.8%
25 to 29 years   13,710   10.6%
30 to 34 years   10,947   8.4%

Post Millenials Pop.
35 to 39 years   8,386   6.5
40 to 44 years   7,902   6.1
45 to 49 years   7,570   5.8
50 to 54 years   7,001   5.4
55 to 59 years   5,866   4.5
60 to 64 years   5,072   3.9
65 to 69 years   3,737   2.9
70 to 74 years   2,709   2.1
75 to 79 years   2,040   1.6
80 to 84 years   1,716   1.3
85 years and over   1,794   1.

posted by: Noteworthy on January 31, 2019  9:14pm

Claim to fame is helping to elect people we’ve never heard of and to get Bridgeport to follow the state and New Haven claiming the wonderful moniker: Sanctuary City. Wow.

Is that why Elicker is posing and going around to all the usual suspects to get seen in all the “right” places and by all the “right” people?

New Haven needs a transformational mayor - not a generational one. There is nothing magical about Elicker’s generation if they do the same old same old. It will just be done by younger people who are beholden to the special interests including the unions, the connected and the political elites. I have heard nothing that is any different from Mayor Harp. I said people were foolish to vote for Harp because she’s black and female - attributes which have nothing to do with her skill set or abilities and therefore never should have been given a second thought. Likewise, there is no reason to vote for Elicker just because he’s the next generation. Where’s the substance? The vision, the transformation?

posted by: Bill Saunders on January 31, 2019  9:36pm


What your chart does say is that the older the ‘age bracket’ the ‘fewer potential voters’...
I see a density of ‘youthful opportunity’ in those statistics if you can get those people to the polls!

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 31, 2019  11:44pm

In a conversation Thursday, Frank seconded the youth/change theme.

“Young people are critical for the future,” he said. He called the 2018 mid-term elections “proof that young people are waking up and voting.”

When Gage Frank. comes to the Hoods and   El Barrios.He can use this Them for Young people .

Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full


posted by: Kevin McCarthy on February 1, 2019  7:48am

Bill, you’re right that young people are a real opportunity for Justin. But a larger proportion of young people are non-citizens who are ineligible to vote. In addition to immigrants, the younger cohorts include a substantial number of people here on student visas. In addition, while young voter turnout increased substantially in the last election (a good thing), it was still substantially below the turnout rate for older voters.

posted by: 1644 on February 1, 2019  10:59am

I presume that Elicker feels that most of the old guard who supported Harp previously will do so again.  Total turnout in the last mayoral election, however, was only about 20,000, which is pathetic for a city of 130,000.  The 11% tax increase and the utter chaos at city hall and the BoE, however, may be a prod for formerly apathetic voters to get out and vote for someone else.  Elicker doesn’t have much executive experience, but Harp has not grown into he job, rather her experience is bad.  So, zero is more than a negative number.  Plus, Elicker will likely save $300K in police overtime by driving himself.

posted by: Bill Saunders on February 1, 2019  1:12pm


Harp’s last election only saw 11k voters. The election before that saw 12k voters
The 20k number is from her first election run in 2013, which is a comparable turnout to when Destefano first won office in 1993.

What is different is that Destefano kept his ‘voter enthusiasm’, consistently getting 18k to the polls for the next decade.
Harp’s support dropped immediately, and at the very next election cycle.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on February 1, 2019  2:01pm

B. Saunders,

The winner in this race will do so, based solely on GOTV efforts, period. 

What I find to be quite interesting is, Elicker is still trying to familiarize himself with areas outside of East Rock ... so what does he do?  He recruits a campaign manager who knows absolutely nothing about NH also.  I can see his volunteers spending the bulk of their time using MapQuest. 

This desire to be mayor by Elicker isn’t about the love of fixing NH.  No, not at all.  This desire is about fixing his resume.

There are a plethora of qualified persons in NH who can manage a campaign of his, but opts to hire an outsider.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.

posted by: Bill Saunders on February 1, 2019  2:32pm


I completely agree with you regarding GOTV and the choice of campaign manager.

But as for questioning Justin’s ‘intent’, I believe his is less than Machiavellian… though ‘certain naiveties’ do shine though.
‘Ambition’ is almost always a double-edged sword.

Personally, I think Justin’s biggest ‘fault’ is his hair color!
Where have I seen that shade before?

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on February 1, 2019  2:54pm

I’m still waiting to hear from Liam Brennan.  The Elicker team must’ve written him a sizable check to do a disappearing act.  How unfortunate. I, along with a whole host of people found his background and brief interest to be impressive.


posted by: Bill Saunders on February 1, 2019  4:02pm


I think Liam is a better choice to challenge Union Alder Adam Marchand.

posted by: ShadowBoxer on February 1, 2019  4:28pm

Like Frank, I too an alum of Fairfield Prep who moved to New Haven years ago as my peers gravitated to suburbia and have remained here in good times and bad.

And as an educator I always inform my students how one of the last permissible forms of prejudice is age-ism, and it is sad to see Justin playing the prejudice card by emphasizing “generational change’ which is prejudice against older people.  Isn’t that even against the law in an employment context?

It is really hard to imagine a freshman like Ocasio-Cortez outsmarting Trump the way Pelosi did, or passing the ACA when her math is wildly dangerous and wrong.

Young people should look to older people as sources of wisdom, mentor-ship and experience, and it is sad to see a 43 year old liberal so inebriated with identity politics that his theme is based on prejudice.  If anything, he should be embracing licensing reform so that middle aged and older adults who have a lot to contribute to society can still do so, rather than see no other out than going on disability an opioids. 

His idea of “generational change” is myopic, morally unjust and prejudicial.  I expected more from an enlightened liberal.  I wish to God the dems would move away from the identity politics and focus on pragmatic policy ideas. We may just need a true independent to run as Mayor who has them, and work to unite people, not divide them as Justin is doing here by, in this case, age.  Shame on him.

posted by: Bill Saunders on February 1, 2019  5:28pm


Too early to ‘Rope-a-Dope’ with you this Election Season…..

Who knows?
Maybe Mike Smart will enter the ring!

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on February 1, 2019  5:39pm


Liam would be an ideal candidate for mayor.  Justin has already proved that he can lose, but Liam has not.  Moreover, Justin is now running a campaign against older voters.  That’s what happens when you hire an out of town campaign manager who manages the campaign of a candidate that hasn’t been on Dixwell Ave. since the last time he ran for mayor.  Out of touch.

This encouragement to coax Liam to run for alderman is a ploy.  The Elicker team is nervous about a Liam candidacy.

I just have a simple question.  WHERE IS LIAM?!!!

posted by: Bill Saunders on February 1, 2019  5:52pm


Not a ploy from my perspective. An honest suggestion.
Liam lives in Ward 25, and knocking some of these high-ranked Union Alders out is tantamount.

A lot of Justin’s ‘housing platform’ seems to come right out of ‘New Haven Legal Assistance’, which employs both Liam and Ward 26 co-chair Amy Marx, so it’s anyone’s guess what is really going on here..

posted by: TheMadcap on February 1, 2019  6:24pm

“Young people should look to older people as sources of wisdom”

“The baby boomers screwed us, so in the words of my generation, lol” -Millennials/Younger Gen X

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on February 1, 2019  7:34pm


I’m in no way accusing you of being obsequious.  But it was suggested by one of Elicker’s sycophants in an earlier article.


posted by: ItsGettingBetter on February 1, 2019  7:50pm

@Brian Jenkins,
What is MapQuest?

posted by: Bill Saunders on February 1, 2019  10:07pm


I don’t think losing in a prior election is a referendum on a current candidacy.
And as I said in a prior post, it’s too early to ‘Rope-a-Dope’ right now.

I have not said anything disparaging about any of the announced challengers, but you can’t help yourself, especially when it comes to Justin Elicker. 

Didn’t Destefano lose two primaries before becoming Mayor?
You are either exhibiting some ‘prejudices’ yourself, or suffering from ‘selective’ forgetfulness here.

I am calling BS.

ps.  If you want to bring up ‘Ageism’ as an issue, I want to bring up the current ‘Age of Hemorrh’ that is a present on-going reality in this fading City Hall “Administration”. 

To be blunt, the Mayor brought it on herself.
I thought her age and experience was supposed to count for something….

That was ‘the pitch’ anyway…..  the reality is something very different.
Everybody is finally catching on…

posted by: ShadowBoxer on February 1, 2019  10:48pm

The bottom line is if I called for “generational change” in a private business in New Haven, I would and could be sued, right?  And rightly so.

But Justin calls for “Generational Change” in a city of enlightened hipsters and Yalies and it is embraced with open arms.

The irony or tragedy is kinda sad.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on February 2, 2019  4:57am

@ ItsGettingBetter,

Google it.


I thought It was too early to “Rope-A-Dope?” 

“I have not said anything disparaging about any of the announced challengers, but you can’t help yourself, especially when it comes to Justin Elicker.”  Really?  I’m flabbergasted at the level of sensitivity in which you spewed in defense of nothing.  Had I said those same things about Mayor Harp, there’s no way in which those accusations would’ve been plastered on this forum.  I stated facts.  Can you show me the “disparaging” comments I supposedly made against your client, counselor?

“Destefano lose two primaries before becoming Mayor?
You are either exhibiting some ‘prejudices’ yourself, or suffering from ‘selective’ forgetfulness here.”  Hillary Clinton lost to Trump, would you support her run at the Presidency again also? 

“I am calling BS.”  I thank you for recognizing my statements as being Beautifully Stated.


posted by: Bill Saunders on February 2, 2019  10:44pm


In the end, I think that is a great question. 
But there is still LOTS of time left to announce!!!!

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on February 3, 2019  10:35am


I asked you three questions, not one my friend.  But I appreciate your obfuscation.


posted by: Bill Saunders on February 3, 2019  4:30pm


I don’t know the answer and I don’t have a crystal ball. 
Everything else is ‘opinion’. We have both offered ‘ours’.

The Magic Eight-Ball even says ‘Reply Hazy, Ask Again Later’.