Toni Harp

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Toni Harp
Mayor toni harp (1).jpg
50th Mayor of New Haven
In office
January 1, 2014 – January 1, 2020
Preceded byJohn DeStefano Jr.
Succeeded byJustin Elicker
Member of the Connecticut Senate
from the 10th district
In office
January 1993 (1993-Jan) – January 2013 (2013-Jan)
Preceded byCharles H. Allen III
Succeeded byGary Holder-Winfield
Personal details
Born (1947-08-06) August 6, 1947 (age 72)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Working Families Party
Alma materRoosevelt University
Yale University (M.E.D.)

Toni Nathaniel Harp (born August 6, 1947) was the 50th Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut. Harp, a Democrat, was a state senator in Connecticut from 1993 to 2013. A resident of New Haven, Harp represented the western half of the city as well as part of West Haven while in the Connecticut Senate.

Early life and career[edit]

Harp was born in San Francisco and graduated from Roosevelt University and received a Master of Environmental Design[1] from Yale University. Prior to becoming mayor in the City of New Haven, Harp served as a State Senator and a New Haven Alderman; she defeated incumbent Senator Charles H. Allen III for the Democratic nomination in 1992.

In 2007 Harp introduced a bill to have the state pay for free diapers for poor mothers.[2]

Mayor of New Haven[edit]

In Spring 2013, Harp announced her intention to run for Mayor of New Haven, a position long held by John DeStefano, Jr..[3] Harp won the election over her opponent, Justin Elicker, by 10,602 to 8,865 votes, or 54.46 percent to 45.54 percent.[4] She was reelected in 2015 with 88.83 percent of the vote against three independent candidates. She was reelected to a third term in 2017 with 77.61 percent of the vote against an independent candidate and Working Families Party candidate.

She is the first woman and the second African American (after John C. Daniels) to serve as Mayor of New Haven.

In April 2019, Harp announced that she would seek election to a fourth two-year term.[5] Justin Elicker, Harp's 2013 opponent, defeated her by 58.8% to 41.5% in the Democratic primary.[6] She ran under the Working Families Party label in the general election. She was defeated by Justin Elicker 70% to 30% in the general election on November 5th.[7]

Corruption Controversy[edit]

As mayor, Toni Harp did not participate in the city's democracy fund program to promote equitable and transparent political donations, which provoked criticism and raised questions about the ethics of her big dollar donations.[8] Despite significant evidence, Mayor Harp denied the FBI ethics probe into her administration amidst allegations of abuse of funds, including diverting funds from the Fire Department to buy clothes for herself and staff.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-04-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "WTNH Connecticut News - News". WTNH Connecticut News. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  3. ^ "And Now ... Toni Harp Jumps In - New Haven Independent". 22 April 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Toni Harp Elected Mayor - New Haven Independent". 6 November 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  5. ^ O'Leary, Mary (15 April 2019). "Harp launches her fourth bid for New Haven mayor's office". New Haven Register. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  6. ^ Breen, Thomas; Bass, Paul; Peak, Christopher. "Elicker Crushes Harp In Primary". New Haven Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  7. ^ Hartford Courant. 5 November 2019 Retrieved 5 November 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Elicker, Harp Clash On Corruption | New Haven Independent". 2019-09-06. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  9. ^ Xiao, Angela; am, Nick Tabio 3:27; Oct 12; 2018. "Harp denies FBI corruption probe". Retrieved 2020-01-16.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John DeStefano Jr.
Mayor of the City of New Haven
Succeeded by
Justin Elicker