Democratic aldermen prevail

After months of campaigning, each of the five Democratic candidates in contested aldermanic races prevailed victorious Tuesday night.

In addition to Sarah Eidelson ’12’s victory in Ward 1, three out of the four other contested races went to union-backed candidates. Democrats Aaron Greenberg GRD ’18 and Dolores Colón triumphed over challengers in Wards 8 and 6 respectively, while Ward 25 incumbent Adam Marchand GRD ’99 won his second term on the Board of Aldermen. Democrat Anna Festa fended off a challenge from Republican William Wynn, though Festa is not union-backed.

Although three other incumbents faced competition in Tuesday’s races, all were expected to win by wide margins. Ward 22 Alderwoman Jeanette Morrison defeated Cordelia Thorpe by a margin of 462 to 158, Ward 27 Alderwoman Angela Russell defeated 11-year city resident and challenger Kevin Diggs and Ward 11 Alderwoman Barbara Constantinople won her election in a landslide, garnering 659 votes to independent competitor Patricia DePalma’s 17.

In one of the most hotly contested aldermanic races, second only to Ward 1, Greenberg won 563 total votes to Wooster Square activist and registered Independent candidate Andy Ross’ 276.

Greenberg said he believes he won because, after knocking on hundreds of constituents’ doors, he energized many citizens who were “previously hopeless about politics.”

“This is as much about everyone else here as it is about me,” Greenberg told roughly 50 supporters at the Conte/West Hills Magnet School Gymnasium following the announcement of voting results.

When Greenberg assumes office on Jan. 1, he said he plans to work with the Board of Aldermen to push employers to hire locally through projects like New Haven Works — one of the Board’s signature achievements over the past two years. He also expressed support for ramping up community policing efforts, which have lowered crime rates considerably in the past two years.

Ross, a licensed real estate broker, said he was “disappointed” by the poll numbers and had hoped to perform better.

“It is what it is,” he said.

He attributed the loss to the district’s heavy Democratic leaning, saying that the city’s “Democratic machine” enabled Greenberg to muster 30 to 40 volunteers at all times, while Ross typically had just two.

However, he vowed to continue his involvement in the community and said he would consider running for the Ward 8 seat in the future.

“I’d make sure either I have access to enough volunteers to really do the job well, or that the campaign is financed well enough to be able to pay people,” Ross said.

In neighboring Ward 6, Colón received 72 percent of the vote, beating Republican Frank Lobo MED ’92 by a 266-vote margin.

Lobo attributed his loss to the Republican Party’s national “image problem” and the electoral makeup of Ward 6, where there are 20 Democrats registered for every Republican.

“We really started at a tremendous disadvantage,” he said. “But we estimate that about half of our votes came from Democrats. That’s a sign of hope for the future.”

Ward 6 resident Tanya James said she voted for Colón over Lobo because Colón had taken the time to knock on her door.

In a race for the Ward 10 seat previously held by Justin Elicker FES ’10 SOM ’10, Democrat Anna Festa won her first term to the Board of Aldermen, the only contested candidate to do so without union support.

Festa, whose campaign focused primarily on education and crime prevention, said that she was excited about her victory.

Heather Blake-Fiore, a Ward 10 resident, said she chose to vote for Festa because her husband knew her, and she “has a great presence in the neighborhood.”

Wynn, Festa’s opponent, said he felt positive about the election despite his loss, calling it a “learning journey.” This was Wynn’s first run for office, and he said he plans to continue his involvement in city politics.

The newly elected Board of Aldermen will comprise of 30 Democrats.

Comments