Former State Rep. Bill Dyson will not run for the mayoral seat this fall, he told news outlets last Thursday.
Since announcing last January that he was “considering” running for the position, Dyson was widely considered the leading contender as a possible challenger to Mayor John DeStefano Jr. in the upcoming municipal elections.
In Dyson’s stead, former New Haven legislative aide Darnell Goldson confirmed Sunday night that he will challenge DeStefano in the November election. He will run as an independent. Goldson said he has toyed with the idea of running against DeStefano for over a year, though he has yet to formally announce plans for an official campaign. But now that Dyson is not running, Goldson said he feels it is his duty to challenge the current mayor.
“The mayor’s priorities are very different from mine,” Goldson said Sunday night.
Goldson said he thought Dyson’s candidacy would shift the city’s focus to public school education and lowering taxes, he said. But now that Dyson is no longer running, someone else needs to instigate that change in political discourse, Goldson said.
Dyson did not return two voicemail messages Sunday. He told the New Haven Independent last Thursday that he believed a mayoral campaign would distract him from other pursuits, including serving on the State Judicial Committee and starting a nonprofit organization focusing on prison re-entry.
In the 2007 election, DeStefano was challenged by Republican H. Richter Elser ’81 and Green Party candidate Ralph Ferrucci. DeStefano won 71 percent of the vote that year. The mayoral election will take place Nov. 3.