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Friday, October 13, 2017 5:30 pm

New Haven councilman McMichael to announce mayoral run

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

A New Haven city councilman and business owner is expected to announce his candidacy for mayor Monday afternoon. 

Steve McMichael, a local realtor who represents New Haven's 5th District, took office last year after former City Councilman Tim Martin resigned to move back to his hometown. McMichael's decision to run comes on the heels of an announcement from Mayor Terry McDonald that he is not seeking re-election in 2019. 

"With the recent announcement from Mayor Terry McDonald that he will not seek a 6th term, the time is right for a new direction, new leadership and a new focus," McMichael said in a statement Friday.

"The future of this great city is bright. I am excited and committed to the taxpayers of the community and will serve as a positive ambassador for the residents in New Haven through responsible leadership to build a better New Haven." 

A Republican, McMichael moved to New Haven in 2003. 

In an interview Friday, McDonald said he's leaving office with the same idea he entered office with in 2000 -- that at some point it's time for someone with fresh eyes and new ideas take the reigns. 

"While I have lots of ideas and lots of projects I want to do, I've gotten to the point in my life where I think it's time to let somebody newer come in with fresh ideas and dreams," McDonald said. "That's why I chose not to run again."

After his term is up, McDonald said he will have spent 40 years serving New Haven, 20 of which as mayor. As for McMichael, McDonald described the councilman as a "great guy" with vision. McDonald said he first met McMichael nine years ago. 

"If he becomes mayor, I think he'd be a fantastic mayor because he has passion, a vision and a dream," McDonald said. 

Although he stressed that the county Republican Party does not endorse primary candidates, Chairman Steve Shine said McMichael is very qualified and familiar with the city and its needs. 

"He has been a superb city council person and his positive demeanor and his understanding of the issues has been demonstrated through his service on city council," Shine said. "I am glad to see someone of Steve's character and background will be a potential replacement for Terry McDonald."

Shine also said McDonald's leadership has been good for New Haven and noted that the five-term mayor's experience and knowledge in managing New Haven's affairs will be missed. 

McMichael plans to formally announce his candidacy at a news conference at 2 p.m. Monday at New Haven's historic city hall building at 428 Broadway St. 

dgong@jg.net