Results are coming in for ward races and it is not looking good for incumbents. Jeanette Morrison ousted incumbent Greg Morehead in Ward 22, and Jessica Holmes did the same to Matt Smith ’98 in Ward 9. The New Haven Independent reported that Board of Aldermen president Carl Goldfield lost to Brian Wingate.
Meanwhile Trumbull College cook Frank Douglass beat Doug Bethea in a landslide in Ward 2, winning 358 to 172.
A shuttle has been parked in front of Toad’s since early this morning, bringing Yale students to the Wexler-Grant School, where the Ward 22 aldermanic primary is being held. The Jeanette Morrison Ward 22 Shuttle manned by volunteer Mac Herring ’12 — current campaign manager for Ward 1 candidate Sarah Eidelson ’12 — and a crew of fellow Morrison supporters, has been picking up groups of voters every half an hour. Morrison is one of three candidates vying against incumbent Greg Morehead.
The voting location is only a ten to fifteen minute walk from campus.
“Student participation in New Haven politics is important and we want to do anything we can to make it easier,” Herring said.
The shuttle will continue to run until the polls close at 8:00 p.m. this evening.
Crowds of supporters gathered of supporters gathered for Ward 2’s aldermanic candidates at the polls in Dwight.
Among them were Yale students who said today’s aldermanic primary, fought intensely by Trumbull dining hall cook Frank Douglass and street outreach worker Doug Bethea, brought more Yalies out to the polls than any election they could remember.
“I was shocked to see how many people were coming out to vote and working on campaigns — even people who aren’t very political,” Cokey Cohen ’12 said as she exited the polls with Scott Shinton ’12 and David Lindsey ’12.
Lindsey, who worked for the Douglass campaign, said both campaigns worked very hard to get residents out to vote. For example, he, Shinton and Cohen were given a ride to the polls at the Troup School on Edgewood Avenue by a Douglass supporter, he said.
The race to replace Gina Calder ’03 EPH ’08 as Ward 2 alderman has been among the city’s most contentious in a year marked by heightened political tensions. Still, Bethea and Douglass, who since the polls opened at 6 a.m. camped out on opposite sides of the entrance to the school, maintained an atmosphere of mutual respect and even camaraderie between their dozens of supporters.
“It’s a beautiful atmosphere,” Douglass said as he stood beside a nodding Bethea. “People are tired and just want to come together.”
The consensus of both campaigns was that turnout, which had exceeded 430 by 6:10 p.m., was higher than usual for an aldermanic primary.
That is a sign of people’s “cry for change,” mayoral candidate Clifton Graves said outside the school amid supporters of his bid to unseat Mayor John DeStefano Jr. Graves had already visited polling places in 20 wards and was attempting to visit the other 10 before polls close at 8 p.m.
The polls were busy this afternoon at the Wexler-Grant School, where Yale students joined other Ward 22 voters to cast their ballots in two primaries.
While there is no aldermanic primary in Ward 1, home to the majority of Yale students, Democrats in Morse, Stiles, Silliman and Timothy Dwight Colleges picked mayoral candidates and joined the political drama in Dixwell as incumbent alderman Greg Morehead faced off against three challengers in today’s Ward 22 primary.
Only 21 voters in Ward 1 have cast their ballots in today’s mayoral primary since polls opened at 6 a.m.
At 1:40, the Ward 1 polling place at the New Haven Public Library was deserted except for a solitary poll worker, Shacara Mitchell, who said she had been there since 6 a.m.
Registered Democrats in Ward 1, which houses Old Campus and eight residential colleges, have until 8 p.m. to vote in a hotly contested mayoral primary. The polls are located in the basement of the library, which is at the corner of Elm and Temple Streets.
Members of Morse, Stiles, Silliman and Timothy Dwight Colleges wishing to vote today have to report to the Wexler-Grant School at 55 Foote St.
Update: 7:45 p.m.
As of 6:15 p.m. 37 people had voted at the New Haven Public Library voting site, about 32 of which were students.