Probate Judge Jack Keyes announced Friday that he will not run for mayor, ending months of speculation over a potential candidacy likely to have drawn broad citywide support most notably from a coalition of labor leaders and members of the city’s Democratic Town Committee.
“I love my current job and want to stay,” Keyes said in a statement, adding that he appreciates and hopes to honor his initial supporters as he remains part of the the city’s “fabric.”
One of those supporters was Connecticut State Senator Martin Looney, who runs a law practice with Keyes and said just this week that his partner and longtime friend would be a “superb mayor.” At that time, he also said Keyes was “strongly considering a run.”
Throughout the process, Keyes was legally constrained from publicly discussing a mayoral campaign due to his current elected position as a probate court judge. Keyes also served as city clerk from 1980 to 1986.
Keyes’ decision means the election for the city’s top office will likely be a five-man race. Ward 10 Alderman Justin Elicker FES ’10 SOM ’10, Connecticut State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, Fernandez Advisors CEO and former New Haven Economic Development Administrator Henry Fernandez LAW ’94 and plumber Sundiata Keitazulu have all officially declared their candidacies.
Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina remains in the exploratory phase of a mayoral candidacy and has said he will run as long as he can find sufficient initial support for his campaign.
Forgoing a bid of his own, Keyes declined Friday to endorse a candidate in the race.