Harp Neutral In Senate Race

Mayor Toni Harp vowed to follow the wishes of the Democratic Party in backing a candidate to fill her seat in the State Senate.

A special election will take place on Feb. 25 to fill the 10th State Senate District seat, which Harp occupied for 21 years before becoming mayor this month.

Three candidates so far have declared their candidacies: state Reps. Gary Holder-Winfield and Juan Candelaria and former West Rock Alderman Darnell Goldson.

Democrats will convene at 200 Orange St. at 7 p.m. Thursday to vote to nominate a candidate. At least two of the candidates, Holder-Winfield and Goldson, have taken out petitions to earn independent spots on the ballot in case they don’t get the party endorsement.

Harp had previously signaled that she might support Holder-Winfield but said she wanted to see who else would join the race.

Now that those candidates have emerged, Harp said Monday night that she will honor the vote of the party Thursday night.

“I think it’s really important to support whomever the convention supports,” she said. “I think both Gary and Juan would be excellent choices.” She noted that both have experience passing new laws, have both chaired the state legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, and both “know their way around the Legislative Office Building.”

“Darnell is a great advocate,” she added. “For those who wish to have an advocate, he would be fine.”

State Rep. Pat Dillon, meanwhile, confirmed that she will not seek the Senate seat.

Party leaders had originally scheduled the nominating convention for Friday night, not Thursday night. Then they found out that that would have blown the deadline for nominating a candidate (shades of this embarrassing boo-boo, as well as this one). Read more about that in this story by the Register’s Mary O’Leary.

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posted by: random on January 15, 2014  12:10am

At least Toni is consistent. First she supports Gary Win field and when he’s secure that she will support him she pulls the mat right from under him. Consistency. Something you can rely on.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on January 15, 2014  8:53pm

Good move Mayor Harp.