Democratic Ward 7 Alderwoman Esther Armmand announced Wednesday she will resign her position April 30, just months before the end of her term. The surprise move lead the one Yale student considering replacing her to say he will not run in a special election.
Armmand, whose ward includes Pierson and Davenport colleges, had already announced her intention not to seek re-election this fall, but said she decided to resign early because she will soon move out of the ward. Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said she will be replaced by the winner of a special election, which must be held within 60 days.
The winner will only serve for the remainder of Armmand’s term, which ends this December. The regular aldermanic election will still be held this fall, with primaries in September and the general election in November, to choose an alderman for the next two years.
DeStefano explained that if Armmand had resigned within 6 months of the end of her term, he would have appointed a replacement to serve until December. But since April 30 does not fall within that window, a special election must be held within a very short time period.
Daniel Adamson ’98 LAW ’03 said he will not run in the special election because he will likely be working in New York during June, when the special election will likely be held, and because students living in the ward will be on summer vacation at that time.
The resignation “makes a campaign for me prohibitively difficult,” Adamson said. “The student’s vote won’t get heard, and that disappoints me. I think it also makes it more difficult for a student to win.”
Adamson would not rule out a run in the September primary, but said he would likely not seek the aldermanic seat.
The primary will occur just days after classes resume, and the winner of the special election would have an advantage in the fall primary.
Adamson’s departure clears the way for Dolores Colon ’91, a labor activist who is now the only candidate considering a run.
Colon said she had not heard of Armmand’s resignation and said she may run in the special election.
Adamson stressed that while Armmand’s decision effectively removed him from the race, he did not think that Armmand had resigned in order to give her friend Colon an easier shot at replacing her.
“I’ve met Esther, and she strikes me as a sincere and nice person, and that is absolutely true,” Adamson said.
Although she did not return calls to her home Wednesday evening, a woman who answered Armmand’s phone referred a reporter to her written statement.
“I am hopeful that my resignation allows candidates who are interested in succeeding me to begin campaigning immediately and potentially gain some on-the-job experience,” Armmand said in the statement.
Shayna Strom ’02, who lives in Davenport and has been active in Ward 7 politics, said while she was disappointed students would not get to be on campus at the time of the special election, she and others would work to encourage students registered in the ward to vote by absentee ballot.
She said she did not think a student or anybody else would challenge Colon, but she said the outcome of this fall’s election probably will not be changed by Armmand’s sudden resignation.
“It does suddenly mean that voters have fewer choices,” Strom said. “Dolores Colon would have likely won in any event.”
The two potential candidates were not the only ones caught off-guard by Armmand’s announcement, as several city leaders said they were surprised by the news. Board of Aldermen President Jorge Perez and Ward 1 Alderman Julio Gonzalez said they had not heard of the resignation until a reporter told them.
DeStefano praised Armmand and said he did not think her early departure would be detrimental to the ward.
“I think Esther’s put a lot of effort into her job, and her ward and I think she’s going to be missed from the Board of Alderman,” DeStefano said. “I think there are people who are going to be interested and are energetic, and I’m sure the ward will be fine.”