Aldermanic candidates plan next moves

Although the election is over, both candidates in the Ward 1 aldermanic race say they are just getting started.

Sarah Eidelson ’12, who was elected Ward 1’s next alderman Tuesday night, said in an email to the News that she will be meeting with residents of the ward — which includes Old Campus and eight residential colleges — before her term starts in January, while her opponent Vinay Nayak ’14 said he will continue to advocate for the policies that formed the platform of his campaign. Nayak said that he has spoken with Eidelson since results were announced, congratulating her on a “fantastically run” campaign and telling her he would like to work with her.

Nayak, who ran what he described as a policy-based campaign, said he will “continue to be a vocal presence on campus for these sorts of issues that I care about.”

“I’m very excited to work with Vinay in the coming weeks and years,” Eidelson wrote in the email. “I have a great deal of respect for him and for his goals and we plan to sit down together soon to talk about working together in the future.”

Before he begins to plan any policy initiatives, though, Nayak said his team would be taking a much-needed hiatus in which he’ll return to his homework, spend time with friends and catch up on sleep sacrificed during the campaign.

Although some supporters have asked if he will run again in 2013, Nayak said he has not come close to considering the idea. Instead, he said he’s still focused on what his team can accomplish over the next two years.

“At the beginning of this campaign I said the one thing I want to do is say Yalies care about New Haven,” Nayak said. “It’s safe to say that message has been sent.”

Despite the focus on policy throughout the campaign, Eidelson’s successful Election Day strategy appeared to be a significant factor in her victory.

Amalia Skilton ’12, the Ward 1 Democratic Ward Committee co-chair who endorsed Eidelson last week, said that Eidelson’s success was due to teams of workers who walked door to door in each college encouraging students to vote and driving or walking them to the polls if necessary.

Volunteers for Nayak’s campaign, at campaign headquarters in Dwight Hall, started calling lists of supporters around noon. At the Ward 1 polls, Nayak was often surrounded by campaign workers, while Eidelson was often left greeting incoming voters with little visible support.

But Mac Herring ’12, Eidelson’s campaign manager, said the lack of workers at the polling location actually reflected Eidelson’s campaign’s strategy.

“Sarah was not swamped with support at the polls because [her campaign volunteers] were busy turning voters out,” Herring said. She estimated around 50 volunteers showed up to go door to door in every college encouraging students to vote, with a small team at Eidelson’s apartment keeping track of the day’s progress.

Herring added that unlike Nayak, Eidelson’s campaign did not have a concentrated phone bank but started its Election Day efforts earlier than his did. Zak Newman ’13, Nayak’s campaign manager, said Eidelson ran a “very effective ground game” on Election Day.

“I think Sarah ran a tremendous campaign, and I think she’ll be a great alderman,” Nayak added. “I thought yesterday was a fantastic day for Yale, a fantastic day for our campaign — after yesterday’s turnout and after the enthusiasm during the election, I’ve never been prouder to call myself a Yalie.”

Together, the candidates brought out 973 voters in Ward 1, the highest turnout in the ward’s history. Newman said he thinks students are starting to see themselves as full members of the New Haven community, which he sees as a point of pride for Yalies.

“I continue to be overwhelmed by Tuesday’s record-breaking voter turnout,” Eidelson wrote in the email. “Now it’s time for us all to turn to the really hard work of keeping up the momentum we’ve built and channeling it into building a better city together.”

In Tuesday’s election, Eidelson received a final tally of 566 votes to Nayak’s 407. She will be sworn in for her two-year term on Jan. 1, 2012.

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