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Challenger Enters New Haven Mayoral Race

Zach Bernard/WBOI News

A new name has entered the ballot in the race for New Haven mayor.

Darren Peterson announced his run as a Democrat at American Legion post 339 in New Haven Thursday evening. While primary elections concluded on May 7, the Republican side ran unopposed, with Steve McMichael claiming the nomination.

Since no Democrat ran in the primary, Peterson is eligible to join the race now.

Peterson -- a military veteran working at New Haven high school -- says his primary goals for New Haven are to retain more police officers and freshen up the 930 corridor connecting the city to Fort Wayne.

“What is on 930, can anybody tell me? Hotels and fast food. That’s all we got, that’s ridiculous," Peterson said.

"Something needs to be done about that. We can make changes, we can get people to move here, we can put businesses in those locations, and if we have to buy out old, run-down hotels, we’ll do that.”

It’ll be a tough task for Peterson, who brings little political experience to the table. McMichael, on the other hand, represents New Haven’s 5th District, and earned a key endorsement from outgoing Republican mayor Terry McDonald last August.

McDonald has been New Haven’s mayor since 1999, and chose not to seek reelection.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered. He currently hosts Morning Edition.