Cordelia Thorpe may not have won the Ward 22 alderman election last year, but after Tuesday’s Democratic ward co-chair elections, she is still in the thick of Ward 22 politics.
Final ballot votes put incumbent Thorpe, a stalwart and outspoken critic of Mayor John DeStefano Jr., above candidates Levone Gilbert and Gina Phillips in election for the Ward 22 Democratic co-chairman, whose main job is to oversee a monthly meeting with local democrats. Thorpe won 87 votes to Philips’ 62 and Gilbert’s 54, the New Haven Independent reported Tuesday night.
“Usually city officials come and run an opposition campaign,” Thorpe said Tuesday night. “This time the community has spoken.”
Phillips, who came in second place, will join Thorpe as the other co-chair.
When polls closed and machine ballots were counted, though, Thorpe was third in the race, with about 40 votes, according to the New Haven Independent. But Thorpe dominated the other candidates in absentee ballots, winning four times more absentee votes than second-place Phillips.
Yale student voters were virtually non-existent in yesterday’s election, Democratic Town Chairwoman Susie Voigt said, which had a total turn out only 10 percent.
“The weather was bad,” Thorpe speculated.
Thorpe said her only plan so far for her upcoming term as ward co-chair is to “showcase” Yale Democratic groups to the ward committee in the monthly meetings.
Voigt said she welcomes the opportunity to work with Thorpe.
Last year, a Ward 22 special aldermanic election occurred to select a replacement for Rev. Drew King, who resigned in March after being arrested for assault. Greg Morehead, Thorpe, prison lieutenant Reggie Lytle and home developer Lisa Hopkins all ran for the seat in April’s election.
But when Morehead beat out all the other candidates by a margin of at least 135 votes, the other three lost their election steam — Thorpe was the only one who sought votes as a write-in candidate in the general election that November, when Morehead defeated her 222-13.
Morehead was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.