No strangers to the campaign trail, the Yale College Democrats sat on the “candidate bench” in the Dwight Hall LIbrary Monday night and held their own elections.

Samantha Jay ’04 defeated Dan Freeman ’04 for the position of president. Brad Kahn ’04 was narrowly elected vice president. Outgoing Vice President Lex Paulson ’02 said the race was extremely close, necessitating a run-off.

Though outgoing President Michelle Mayorga ’03 said the Dems have an e-mail list including approximately 250 people, only 19 people attended the elections. Nine executive board positions were available.

Jay said her goals for the year are to start working on the Connecticut gubernatorial campaign and congressional elections for 2002. She also wants to work more closely with other chapters throughout the state, and step up voter registration efforts on campus and in New Haven.

She said the Dems would be her first priority, even if her “grades suffered from it.”

Freeman was the only candidate to pass out fliers, outlining his experience with the Dems and his goals for the future. He lost the race for president and vice president but won the office of membership coordinator, for which he ran unopposed.

Though Vice President-elect Kahn could not attend the elections, campus coordinator Justin Cohen ’04 delivered his speech for him, imitating Kahn’s mannerisms and Long Island accent.

“Just pretend I’m not so stunningly attractive,” Cohen joked.

Kahn, who is the former membership coordinator, said that the 250 person e-mail list was compiled at the first meeting of the 2000-2001 academic year, before the presidential election. He said that although the governor’s race and congressional elections aren’t as widely attractive as the presidential race, more people should get involved because the Dems can make a bigger impact on a smaller race.

“We can take a huge role in something like that, as compared to relatively minor role we might have taken in the presidential election,” Kahn said.

Jessica Paindiris ’05 is the new secretary, and Nirupam Sinha ’05 was elected treasurer. Erica Freed ’03 retained her position as registrar of voters and said she plans to be very dedicated with the help of co-Registrar Maren Ludwig ’05.

Pete Ortner ’05 is the new campaigns coordinator, and Alicia Washington ’05 will be the campus coordinator.

Kahn lauded this year’s freshman involvement and noted that several of the new members of the executive board are freshmen.

“The executive board is a cohesive unit now of everybody that’s really dedicated,” Kahn said. “I think we should do a lot of good work. I’m glad to see that everybody who was dedicated to begin with is back in areas where they can work really hard.”

Mayorga also praised the freshmen for getting so involved this year.

“I’m very excited about the new e-board,” Mayorga said. “We have a lot of very capable people interested in the group, and I was glad to see them take the initiative and inherit the e-board. I’m especially happy about having so many freshmen who in one semester stepped up and got involved. I think this is representative of good things to come.”