Saying she was unsure she wanted to commit to the responsibility of being alderman, Anne Leone ’03 withdrew her candidacy in a letter to the Ward 1 Democratic Committee Saturday, just a day before the committee met to endorse a candidate.
“It’s been a struggle for me and I was debating until the very end with myself,” Leone said.
While Leone said she remained committed to serving the community, she was uncertain she wanted to spend all her time at Yale working in politics.
“It’s a lot to commit five summers and four years in New Haven,” she said. Ward 1 aldermen typically serve two two-year terms.
With committee members deliberating late into Sunday night before endorsing Ben Healey ’04, the candidates, Michael Montano ’03, Lex Paulson ’02 and Healey, said it was too early to tell the impact of Leone’s withdrawal on the race. All three said they respected her decision to leave the race, though Healey said it proved unsurprising.
“It is clear Anne very much cares about doing very good work in the city, but I felt throughout the process she never committed to doing it this way by being an alderman,” Healey said. “I felt she declared without making the decision. But I think she brought a different feeling to the race than the other political candidates.”
Though Leone said she had no complaints about the process, which some committee members and candidates had criticized for being too biased toward powerful opinions, Paulson said the nature of ward politics was enough to drive anyone out of the race.
“I think the fact that Anne dropped out speaks to a larger frustration a lot of us felt,” Paulson said.
Leone said she plans to continue her involvement with the many grassroots groups she leads, including the Student Labor Action Movement, People Against Injustice and the U.S. Grant Fellowships.
“I want to be useful with my life,” Leone said. “But I can find other ways. Maybe I will in politics, but I’m not convinced yet. I need to do some exploring before I lock myself into a job.”
Though she left the race, Leone said she gained a new understanding for meeting the same goals she had in running.
“I see college as a time to explore myself,” Leone said. “I am uncertain who I am, that’s why I’m here, why I do so many clubs, so many subjects. But to accept a job so important, with so much responsibility, I felt would tie me into one aspect of myself, and I want to stay free while I’m in college.”