As readers may know, The Shad spent some years on staff for the state Senate Democrats in the General Assembly as director of communications and media. In my time there I had the privilege of working with some fine legislators. Sen. Toni Harp of New Haven was among them—smart, hard-working, dedicated and approachable. She always listened to what anyone had to say. She didn’t just hear them and let people talk. She listened. She’s running for mayor of New Haven now. I’ve decided I really want to help her.
The Hanging Shad may be posting a little less frequently for a while as I consult on Harp 2013. I am already blown away by the dedication and energy of Sen. Harp’s supporters. A filing error by the New Haven Democratic Town Committee meant Sen. Harp had to get 2,406 registered New Haven Democrats sign a petition to get her on the ballot. In just a little over four days, she turned in more than 4,800 and there’s more pouring in. Her opponents have yet to submit any.
I got involved in Harp 2013 because as I read the coverage of the campaign, I noticed that the discourse basically consisted of Harp’s opponents talking about everything except who is best equipped to be the next leader of New Haven. It’s been a very long time since city hall had a new occupant—Mayor John DeStefano is retiring after 20 years. It’s vitally important that the campaign be about who has the experience and the vision to guide the city. I believe that person is Toni Harp.
So I pleased and honored to be consulting on this campaign. I’ve purposely avoided campaigns in recent years, choosing instead to focus on political analysis and writing The Shad. Campaigns are a different animal (more of that to come). However, I made an exception for Sen. Harp. It should be a fun and challenging time. I’ll post about the campaign from time to time, bringing you insight you won’ get elsewhere. Game on.