Connecticut State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield told the News Tuesday evening that he has officially decided to run for mayor of New Haven. He will file elections paperwork with the city clerk on Friday, he said.
Holder-Winfield, who set up an exploratory committee last December to consider a potential bid for mayor, has up to now declined to commit to an official announcement of his candidacy.
“I can now say for certain that I will be running for mayor,” Holder-Winfield said. “I plan on filing the paperwork this Friday. I said from the beginning of this process that I would make a decision by the end of the month, and that time has come.”
The announcement coincides with Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s announcement Tuesday afternoon that he will not seek re-election this fall. Holder-Winfield will run against Ward 10 Alderman Justin Elicker FES ’10 SOM ’10, who officially announced his candidacy last week, and Sundiata Keitazulu, a plumber and New Haven resident. Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina also told the News on Tuesday that he is “strongly considering running.”
A former Newhallville ward co-chair, Holder-Winfield led efforts in the Connecticut House to repeal the death penalty in 2012 and has also been involved in juvenile justice and education reform. He has served in the state House since 2008.