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Incumbent Justin Elicker easily wins New Haven mayoral primary

Holding his daughter April, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker celebrates with his supporters at a campaign party at BAR New Haven after defeating his challenger Liam Brennan in the Democratic primary. Elicker will run for his third term in the general election.
Ryan Caron King
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Connecticut Public
Holding his daughter April, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker celebrates with his supporters at a campaign party at BAR New Haven after defeating his challenger Liam Brennan in the Democratic primary. Elicker will run for his third term in the general election.

Incumbent Mayor Justin Elicker won New Haven’s Democratic primary Tuesday night, defeating a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Obama and early Trump administrations.

The victory sets Elicker on the path to claim his third two-year term in November as mayor of the predominantly Democratic city.

Elicker on Tuesday night thanked his supporters at Bar, a restaurant in downtown New Haven.

“Because we have worked not just today, but for the past four years together, we have accomplished so, so much. We have persevered. And we should be proud in New Haven about how we have persevered," Elicker said.

Elicker was first elected in 2019 after gathering 58% of the vote against the incumbent mayor, Toni Harp. He did not face a primary challenge in 2021.

Elicker defeated Liam Brennan Tuesday night.

Liam Brennan gives a high spirited speech at Rudy's bar in New Haven after losing the Primary Election for Democratic rep. for Mayor against Incumbent Mayor Justin Elicker.
Ayannah Brown
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Connecticut Public
Liam Brennan gives a high spirited speech at Rudy's bar after losing the Primary Election for Democratic rep. for mayor of New Haven against Incumbent Mayor Justin Elicker.

"Obviously, this is not the results that we were hoping for tonight," Brennan told supporters Tuesday night at Rudy's Bar in New Haven. "But it has been a great night, a great election, a great few months. And all the work that all of you have done, has really made a difference in this city. And I can't thank you all enough."

During his campaign, Elicker cited his experience leading the city during the COVID-19 pandemic and his work to make the city more friendly to renters. He was endorsed by several top Democratic officials in the state, including Gov. Ned Lamont.

November’s mayoral ballot will also include Tom Goldenberg as the Republican and Independent candidate, as well as Wendy Hamilton and Mayce Torres, who are unaffiliated candidates.

Elicker said if elected as mayor in November he’ll continue to prioritize public safety, affordable housing and education.

This story has been updated. Connecticut Public Radio's Patrick Skahill contributed to this report.

Camila Vallejo is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms. She is a bilingual reporter based out of Fairfield County and welcomes all story ideas at cvallejo@ctpublic.org.

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