Holder-Winfield Walks Miles In His Wing Tips

Stacy Davis Photo

No one was home. So Gary Holder-Winfield wrote down his number on a flyer—not to his state legislative office, not to his mayoral campaign office, but to his personal cell phone.

Holder-Winfield left the flyer behind the mailbox on the porch on Clinton Avenue and continued walking Fair Haven trying to drum up interest in his quest to become New Haven’s next mayoral—with a personal touch.

He’s been doing a lot of walking. In between his duties at the state legislature, where he represents the 94th General Assembly District, Holder-Winfield has been squeezing in hours knocking on doors in New Haven neighborhoods, he said, telling people why he believe he’s the best person of the seven Democrats running to become New Haven’s next mayor.

He’s promising to be a mayor you can interact with after years of what he calls too little openness to people’s concerns from City Hall. Hence the personal cell phone number.

He left it at several doors as he canvassed Fair Haven Sunday after a visit to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church across town.

He said he’s gotten used to walking about 14 hours each day, and he doesn’t have special walking shoes. Sunday he walked in brown wing-tipped shoes and a navy blue suit.

His first stop was at Fair Haven Furniture on Blatchley Avenue, where he met store owner Kerry Triffin (pictured).

Immediately after meeting Holder-Winfield, Triffin told him that people often incorrectly call him Gary.

Holder-Winfield said people also mess up his name—calling him Gary “Holyfield,” like the boxer, or Gary “Winfield-Holder.”

“So why should I vote for you?” Triffin asked as his dog, Maple, sat at his feet.

Holder-Winfield said he wants to bring children’s advocates to city schools, where many students have experienced trauma. “These kids are on the battlefields,” he said.

The advocates would help them work through their issues and become less of a distraction to other students.

He also talked about his solutions for reducing the city’s crime and improving economic development. He said that walking patrol cops under the city’s revived community policing program should make more of an effort to get to know people on their neighborhood beats.

“I totally agree that the relationship needs to be developed,” Triffin said.

In the area of economic development, Holder-Winfield said more could be done to maximize the resources the city already has: Tweed Airport, I-91 and I-95, the rail system, the harbor and port.

“No other city in the state has a set up-like that,” he said. The city has lots to offer, he added. “If you want it, it’s in New Haven.”

After opening her door to Holder-Winfield, Barbara Proto (pictured) said Holder-Winfield reminded her of her daughter’s fiance.

“I hope he’s a good-looking guy,” Holder-Winfield said.

Proto said she liked his stance on community policing. She reminisced about living in housing projects and a security guard questioning the kids who were out after dark. “I think it made us feel safer,” she said.

Proto told Holder-Winfield the city has neglected Fair Haven. She said she was interested in the candidacy of Henry Fernandez, because he lives in the neighborhood.

“Other parts of the city look so clean,” Proto said. She spoke of properties with overgrown grass on her street: “It looks disgusting.”

Holder-Winfield, who lives in Newhallville, said he understood her feelings. He said the mayor should talks periodic walks through through each section of the city.

Other “On The Campaign Trail With The Candidates” coverage:

Elicker Dives Into Dixwell

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posted by: markcbm on May 29, 2013  4:25pm

Lets face it: New Haven is lucky to have such a great collection of candidates vying for mayor.

And to all those who love to hate on Don John who assert that he is responsible for a decline in New Haven, I ask you this: Why has the city increased its population over the previous decade more than any other town in CT, even Stamford?

posted by: westville man on May 29, 2013  4:56pm

“so why should I vote for you?” asked Kerry Triffin. Tough vote to get as I thought he moved to Bethany 2 years ago….

posted by: kenneth_krayeske on May 29, 2013  5:18pm

I would confirm westville man’s comment, that as of May 15, 2013, Kerry Triffin is not registered to vote in New Haven.

posted by: Wooster Squared on May 29, 2013  5:26pm

Wing tips are an excellent choice. They provide a fashionable, but classic, look.

posted by: Curious on May 29, 2013  7:01pm

Triffin being sought after and the exchange being put in this article, when he is not even registered to vote in New Haven, is hilarious.

posted by: Christina17 on May 29, 2013  8:05pm

Ahem…“Campaign 2011” graphic alert.

posted by: Gary2013 on May 29, 2013  9:34pm

Gary’s campaign is happy to talk to everyone in New Haven interested in hearing about his vision for the city - if you’d like to set up your own visit click here: http://bit.ly/15bs19N

Gary had been invited to visit Fair Haven Furniture and is a strong supporter of local small business.

We were in the neighborhood canvassing for a petition to pass Gary’s bill the TRUST Act and stop deportations like Islas’. Click here if you want to sign the petition: http://www.gary2013.com/pass_the_trust_act

posted by: DownTownNewHaven on May 29, 2013  10:13pm

Poor Gary can’t get any coverage even in the articles about him. Just compare this ““Out On The Campaign Trail With The Candidates” and the one written for Elicker side by side.

posted by: Samuel T. Ross-Lee on May 30, 2013  4:50am


This is not about “Poor Gary”.  This is about the obviously bias coverage of the NHI.

I’m not sure if the unbalanced coverage here is due to incompetence or indifference, but it is certainly glaring during this political race.

The uneven coverage dishonors the NHI’s choose for mayor, that person’s opponents, and, most of all, the reading public, which should be able to rely on the media for objective reporting.

posted by: HhE on May 30, 2013  7:34am

Watching what Gary and Justin are doing, shows what a little bit of money and a whole lot of motivation and shoe leather can achieve.  Compare that to what Henry is doing, and what Toni is not doing.  As a voter, I will choose hard work over a Faustian bargain any day.

posted by: Stephen Harris on May 30, 2013  6:29pm

Gary mentioned New Haven’s economic advantage of having highways, major rail, and a working port. And he’s certainly correct to point that out.

But I’d like to hear how he and all the other candidates would exploit that advantage.