When Ward 7 alderman Esther Armmand announced last month that she will not seek re-election, the race to replace her was wide open. Now, two candidates, both Yale-affiliated, have emerged.
Two months after announcing he would not seek the Democratic nomination for Ward 7 alderman, Daniel Adamson ’98 LAW ’03 said he is considering entering this September’s primary after all. He will likely be joined in the race by long-time labor activist Dolores Colon ’91.
In early February, Adamson said continued bad blood between Yale students and city residents in Ward 7 resulting from the 1999 electoral improprieties of Asit Gosar ’00 convinced him not to challenge Armmand. He also said he saw no need to replace an alderman who he said was performing her job well.
But Armmand announced March 8 she would not seek re-election, leading Adamson to reconsider.
Gosar defeated Armmand by 29 votes in the 1999 Democratic primary, only to withdraw after the Yale Daily News reported that the Pierson senior may have encouraged students who did not live in Ward 7, which includes Pierson and Davenport colleges, to cast ballots.
Adamson said he hopes there will be a civil campaign this time around.
“My primary concern is to avoid the sort of nastiness that characterized the last campaign,” Adamson said. “If voters in New Haven can have more choices without having to endure a difficult and contentious campaign, I think that is good for the city.”
Should Adamson run, he may face a strong opponent in Colon, who said she is very seriously considering running.
The union activist has long been involved with politics in Ward 7, and she said she expects support from Armmand.
Armmand could not be reached for comment, but Adamson agreed that he fully expects the incumbent to support Colon.
Colon, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., first joined a union while working at Yale as an undergraduate. She has been active in the labor movement ever since, and now works as a member of the job search team at Local 34. She has also been involved with the Dwight Central Management Team and the Greater Dwight Development Corporation.
Victor Corona ’03, who lives in Davenport and has worked extensively with Colon, said he thought she would be a good choice for alderman.
“I see her as a person who has been very involved with both her community and her union,” Corona said. “I would certainly encourage her to run and encourage the different constituencies in the ward to support her because of the vision she brings.”
But Colon does not have sterling relationships with everyone in Ward 7.
Colon ran for Ward 7 co-chair last spring, citing discontent with the effectiveness of the ward committee during the 1999 election — particularly co-chair Nathan Zeidenberg. Although she withdrew before the election, saying she did not want to divide the party, she maintains that Zeidenberg could have done more to campaign against Gosar.
Zeidenberg declined to comment, saying Colon’s allegations are “out of line.”
Adamson’s parents are from New Haven, but he was raised in Georgia before coming to Yale as an undergraduate. He currently participates in a law school-sponsored clinic that advocates for New Haven children, and he is also working on a project that helps women secure restraining orders. He is considering starting a children’s nonprofit after he graduates from law school.
Adamson stressed that he is still undecided, and will have to evaluate whether he will have enough time to be alderman.
Zeidenberg said once Armmand gives official notice that she will not be seeking re-election, he and fellow co-chair Nadine Wall will convene the ward committee, which will decide whether to endorse a candidate.