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Harp Defends Record At New Haven Mayoral Forum

Ebong Udoma
Urn Pendragon, Seth Poole, Justin Elicker and Mayor Toni Harp at the New Haven Mayoral Candidates Forum at Varick Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in New Haven on Sunday.

Toni Harp took on three challengers at a forum on Sunday as she runs for a fourth, two-year term as New Haven mayor this year.

Harp has faced a number of problems in her three terms in office. They include a public school system in deficit, a tax increase, a yet-to-be-resolved police union contract, and an FBI investigation of the city’s youth office. 

But she is confident she can beat her challengers.

“There are some things that people don’t agree with that we’ve done, but by and large the city is in a better place than it’s ever been.”

Democrat Justin Elecker wants to primary Harp for the second time in six years. 

“It’s clear that with the recent tax increase, with the FBI investigation, with the lack of affordable housing in this city that there are many policies we can implement that we can get back on the right track.”

Elicker has to get 2,000 signatures from eligible city voters to qualify for the September primary.

The other two candidates at the forum, Urn Pendragon and Seth Poole, won’t take part in the primary. They are running as independents.

The last non-Democrat to win a New Haven mayoral election was in 1951.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.