Elicker Hires Campaign Manager

FacebookIn his bid to become New Haven’s next mayor, Alderman Justin Elicker has tapped a 24-year-old who helped Dannel Malloy become the current governor.

Elicker, a 37-year-old East Rock Democratic alderman, Friday hired Kyle Buda (at right in photo) to be his campaign manager.

Elicker is running to replace 10-term Mayor John DeStefano, who announced he will step down at the end of this year. Newhallville Democratic state Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield has also launched a mayoral run; he is in the process of selecting a campaign manager. (Sundiata Keitazulu, a plumber from Newhallville, has also filed papers to run for mayor.)

Buda, who’s 24, was a field organizer for Malloy’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. He worked in the Third U.S. Congressional District, which covers New Haven. Buda also worked on the Wisconsin campaign to recall Gov. Scott Walker, and the U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s recent successful campaign there.

Buda said he connected with Elicker through a mutual friend: “I’d lived in New Haven before. I really liked his vision for the city.”

Buda was one of about 20 applicants for the position, Elicker said. Elicker said Buda has “strong field experience. … We think that’s the most important element in the race.”

“We’re just going to try and engage as many voters as we can, door to door,” Buda said.


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posted by: cedarhillresident! on February 18, 2013  9:58pm

Welcome Kevin! This is an exciting time in our city!! Glad to see you as part of Elicker’s campaign! Work is cut out for you in a city that gave up in having a voice! And now that we have one will we remember how to use it?? I think Justin is the man that will allow the people to be the boss again! Our opinions will matter again. Not the opinion of politicians that tell us what matters. Excited I say!! totally excited! Welcome aboard!!

posted by: Book on February 19, 2013  2:03am

You can tell a lot by a candidate by how he staffs his campaign. What does this say about how Mr Elicker would run the city? I just don’t see how a 24 year old from Wisconsin can be the right person to lead a race in New Haven.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on February 19, 2013  10:08am

Get ready for the policy’s of Dan Malloy.

posted by: HhE on February 19, 2013  12:14pm

When I read the shots people take at Justin (and Gary), they seam week and desperate.

posted by: Fair and Honest on February 19, 2013  12:27pm

Book—” I just don’t see how a 24 year old from Wisconsin can be the right person to lead a race in New Haven”

This is a matter of $$$. All campaign managers are young because they have to work demanding 12-hour days for a 10 month job for low pay.  If you have an older, more experienced campaign manager, you have to pay them LOTS because they are forfeiting job opportunities elsewhere, interrupting a career, and may have a family to support. 

A candidate committed to the Democracy Fund doesn’t have that kind of money.

posted by: Curious on February 19, 2013  1:26pm

Book, that’s pretty short-sighted.  You could say the same thing about whether someone chose a white, black, latino, or asian campaign manager.  Stereotyping someone based on age or where he came from isn’t much different than that.

posted by: anonymous on February 19, 2013  3:33pm

Book, I agree that campaigns should represent the diversity of the city, but I’m not sure how one campaign manager says much about Elicker. Campaign managers are temporary consultants who are probably paid a dollar or two per hour worked. 

Hopefully Elicker looked hard and advertised widely within New Haven. But when it comes to a campaign manager, you need to hire someone with some kind of track record, and the best and most energetic one that you can afford. Which it turns out, often means someone from a Midwestern swing state who is about 20 years old.

posted by: Lisa on February 19, 2013  3:34pm

Book - how can you judge someone just by how old they are? Or where they come from?  Is that how you judge everyone?
3/5s because he worked on Malloy’s campaign, he wrote his policies? 
The job of a campaign manager is to get the candidate’s message out in the best way possible, isn’t it?  And a person could be from anywhere, could have lived anywhere and still know how to help present someone’s message.

posted by: accountability on February 19, 2013  6:57pm

Elicker did 20 interviews and found a 24 year old kid who “worked on” 2 Wisconsin campaigns and “lived in New Haven before?”

And Buda’s claim to CT political fame is that he was a “field organizer” for Malloy? So he did Malloy’s New Haven turnout? Really? Try word searching “Buda” in Paul’s piece on that campaign:


So Elicker’s going to bring new faces and fresh ideas to New Haven City Government? This hire will be an illuminating test of Justin’s judgment. Hope the kid succeeds.

posted by: HhE on February 19, 2013  7:23pm

Cheep shots on Elicker; two penny per gross. 

That “kid” is 37 years old.  Some might think he is an adult.