It was a topsy-turvy election to the end, with all the stunning last-minute surprises that attend New Haven Democratic ward politics, even here at Yale. As a bruised 50 member Ward 1 Democratic Committee convened Sunday afternoon in a staid Law School lecture hall, the only question was just how many surprises were in store. Lex Paulson ’02, who dropped out of the race Saturday night, dropped back in an hour after the nominating committee was seated. Anne Leone ’03, a political newcomer and the only female in the race, bid the committee a dignified farewell, explaining that the “immense responsibility of the alder’s job” was too much to shoulder. The electoral revolving door left many in the room confounded. When it was done, Ben Healey ’04, who demurred on an unusual number of policy questions, emerged with the party endorsement in hand.
But for all three remaining candidates — Michael Montano ’03, Paulson and Healey — the real election begins this morning. Hard-fought as it was, the Democratic nominating committee’s endorsement represents the backing of a narrow ideological and numerical slice of the ward’s 4,500 residents fulfilling an obligation to put a candidate on the ballot for September’s primary. We expect that Montano and Paulson will canvass Ward 1 for signatures to force a primary in September and work to convince all of the ward’s residents they are fit for the job.
We hope the candidates take their campaigns and their platforms seriously enough to bring their vision for Ward 1 to the voters in their party’s open primary. Even those who lost.