Follow along as the News covers New Haven’s municipal elections.




(8:58 p.m.) Harp poised to win mayoral race

By Sara Seymour, Staff Reporter — follow @saraseymour96 for updates

Harp is winning the mayoral race with a 10-1 margin, reported Rick Melita, Toni Harp’s campaign manager.

Melita said that though he does not have the exact numbers, roughly 9,000 people have voted, and Harp’s victory over Ron Smith and Sundiata Keitezulu appears likely.

“It’s an easy victory,” Melita said.

Mahogany Mathis, the campaign manager for Ron Smith who is running as an independent, said the results of eight other wards have not yet been counted. She said she did not have an estimate of how many votes Smith has received.

Third candidate Sundiata Keitazulu said he is also unsure of the total number of votes he has received.

“It’s not over yet,” Keitazulu said.


(8:28 p.m.) DeCola re-elected in Ward 28

By Rebecca Karabus, Staff Reporter — follow @Rebecca_Karabus for updates

Democrat Salvatore DeCola has secured a third term as Ward 18 alder, beating out opponents Republican Lisa Milone and Independent Robert Proto.

DeCola received 583 of 888 votes at Tuesday’s election, which took place at Nathan Hale School in New Haven’s Morris Cove neighborhood. Milone garnered 177 votes, while Proto received 120 votes.

“It feels wonderful,” DeCola said. “The people spoke. This was democracy at its best.”

Milone said she is happy to have run because her candidacy gave the residents of Morris Cove — the neighborhood Ward 18 is located in — a choice. She added that this does not always happen in cities dominated by registered Democrats.

Proto, who lost to DeCola in the Democratic primary before running as an independent in the general, said he does not think any candidate should run unopposed.

He echoed the importance of providing voters with a choice.

Nearly forty percent of eligible voters turned out to vote in Ward 18.

(7:42 p.m.) Low turnout in Ward 7

By Cameron Hill, Contributing Reporter

Poll workers far outnumbered voters in the Ward 7 polling place at City Hall this evening.

Ward 7 co-chair and candidate Alberta Witherspoon was joined by several members of Mayor Toni Harp’s campaign outside City Hall. Witherspoon said voter turnout in the ward has been slow all day.

“People are coming in pretty sporadically,” Witherspoon said.

But Witherspoon said she was not surprised by voter turnout, because turnout for municipal elections is generally lower than that for presidential elections.

With a few posters and campaigners, Harp’s team had a limited presence outside City Hall.

Ward 7 resident Fernando Muniz voted for Harp, adding that he has been pleased with her work during her first term.

As of 6:30 p.m., 265 Ward 7 residents had cast ballots.

(7:36 p.m.) Ward 1 picks up steam in final hour of voting

By Caitlyn Wherry, Contributing Reporter — follow @caitsheaw for updates

Lines to the polls are stretching far beyond the doors of New Haven Free Public Library as the Ward 1 aldermanic election reaches its final hour.

“I’ll be here.” incumbent Sarah Eidelson ’12 said. “I’m just here to talk with people coming down; answer their questions.”

Eidelson said she believes rising tensions as the election draws to a close can be attributed to the high-stakes nature of this election. Eidelson said the Ward 1 election has energized people all across campus and elicited strong opinions from of many campus organizations, which can explain much of the last-minute canvassing on campus.

Challenger Ugonna Eze ’16 said he is no longer relying on plans or strategies, but rather on his volunteer team.

“We really want to be able to change the relationship between the campus and the community, to let [potential voters] know how important this election is.” Eze said.

As of 7:41 p.m., the News’ exit poll shows Eidelson leading with 221 votes to Eze’s 175.

(6:06 p.m.) Ward 1 voters surprised by close margin

By Sara Seymour, Staff Reporter — follow @saraseymour96 for updates

Both candidates said they are avoiding the numbers, but those following the race said they expected Sarah Eidelson ’12 to lead by a wider margin.

As of 5:59 p.m., Eidelson was leading with 185 votes to Ugonna Eze’s ’16 135 votes.

“That’s definitely closer than I expected,” Will Merrill ’19 said.

Merrill said that he figured because the Ward 1 alder seat has been held by Democrats for so long, Eidelson would have a significant lead.

Eze supporter Zach Effman ’19 echoed that sentiment, saying he expected the bias to be for Eidelson as a Democrat and the incumbent.

Sheron Marks, an Eidelson supporter from Ward 28 said that she thinks the turnout has been less fervent than expected, and as a result the vote is closer than anticipated.

“I think that it’s pretty close because not everybody is coming out to vote because they just think that Sarah is going to win,” Marks said.

At 4:39 p.m., Tyler Blackmon ’16, president of the Yale College Democrats, sent an email to the Dems panlist urging students to vote saying the race is going to be “incredibly close.”

Eze supporters, such as Effman and Vasilije Dobrosavljevic ’16 said that they expect votes to continue to trickle in during the final hours.

Eidelson and Eze both said they have focused on reaching out to individual voters.

“I haven’t been too focused on the numbers,” Eidelson said.

As of 5:45 p.m., 501 Ward 1 residents casted ballots.

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(5:25 p.m.) Ward 1 moderator warns New Haven Rising organizers

By Jiahui Hu, Staff Reporter — follow @JiahuiHu_YDN

The Ward 1 election moderator warned community organizers from New Haven Rising to stay 75 feet from the entrance to the polling place, citing state law which prohibits any persons acting on behalf of or against a candidate from crossing that boundary.

Andria Gieryk, the moderator, said she acted in response to concerns from supporters of Ugonna Eze ’16 that representatives from New Haven Rising were closely affiliated with Sarah Eidelson’s ’12 campaign. Eze said that he was not aware of the complaints. He added that he supports New Haven Rising’s mission.

Complainants said the graphic design of New Haven Rising reflected that of the Eidelson campaign. Eze supporters said the Eidelson campaign and New Haven Rising shared many of the same messages.

Representatives from New Haven Rising were distributing flyers that said, “Yale: Solve the Jobs Crisis” within the 75-foot boundary. Gieryk asked the community organizers to stay two feet from the 75-foot marker.

“It was an argument over a foot of space,” Gieryk said.

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(5:10 p.m.) Voters evacuated from Ward 1 polling place at after fire alarm

By Sara Tabin, Contributing Reporter

As the red lights of two firetrucks flashed against the darkening sky, New Haven residents were ushered out of the New Haven Free Public Library and across the street.

Voting was interrupted by a fire alarm at around 4:50 p.m. this evening. Although there was no fire, the immediate area was evacuated while citizens waited for the fire department to declare the building safe. Voting had resumed by 5:10 p.m.

According to Mike Pilato of the New Haven Fire Department, the alarm was triggered by a malfunctioning smoke detector on the third floor.

Republican candidate Ugonna Eze ’16 stated that he believed the alarm would have no effect on election result. He added that “this might make people come out faster.”

Democratic candidate Sarah Eidelson declined to comment on the possible effect of the incident, saying that she did not have enough information to do so.

Two students interviewed said the fire alarm delay kept them from casting ballots because they did not have time to wait.

The polls will stay open until 8 p.m.

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(4:00 p.m.) Turnout picks up in Ward 22

By Amy Cheng, Contributing Reporter — follow @Amy_23_Cheng for updates

As Election Day continues into its latter half, voters are steadily casting ballots in Ward 22.

As of 3:40 p.m., 210 registered voters out of a total 2,558 have made it to the polling station at Wexler-Grant Community School. Because Ward 22 Alder Jeanette Morrison’s seat is not contested, residents will only be voting in the mayoral election.

John Kauffman ’18, a resident of Timothy Dwight College, said that he voted for the incumbent mayor, Toni Harp, because he believes the city has been moving in the right direction. “I am very confident that [Harp] will push for a progressive agenda,” Kauffman said. He specifically cited Harp’s youth services policies as an example of her progressive platform.

Contrary to Kauffman’s support for Harp’s position on the Board of Education, a third-year Yale Law School student who wished to remain anonymous expressed her concern on the same issue. “[I am worried about] the concentration of power on one person,” the voter said. “I think it is probably better to have many different leaders.”

At the polling station, Morrison expressed that she expected a collective win for the Democratic team across elections. “Going forward, I expect us all to continue to work together on issues like employment and security.”

(2:30 p.m.) Ward 1 voters cast ballots for mayoral race

By Caitlin Wherry, Contributing Reporter — follow @caitsheaw for updates

Incumbent Mayor Toni Harp appears to be the favorite of Ward 1 voters today, with many students saying they voted for her due to her support from the Democratic party.

Toni Harp, Ron Smith and Sundiata Keitazulu are the three candidates for mayor of New Haven. Incumbent Toni Harp has been in office as mayor since 2014. Smith has served as both city clerk and alder for Newhallville, and Keitazulu also ran a campaign for mayor in 2013.

“Harp has done a great job: she’s been active, been around. There’s no reason I can see not to re-elect her.” Kevin Ennis ’17 said.

Other students said that Harp’s presence in New Haven has been stable, but has not brought as much progress as they had hoped.

Some of these students have given their support to Keitazulu, trusting in his ability to represent the working citizen.

“I really felt that Harp didn’t have innovative plans,” a Davenport senior and supporter of Keitazulu said. “There’s something to be said for politicians not entrenched in the system.”

(2:17 p.m.) Petitioning candidates meet at Ward 20

By Michelle Liu, Staff Reporter — follow @mchelleliu for updates

At 9 a.m., Ward 20 Alder Delphine Clyburn cheerfully greeted voters as they walked toward the front of Lincoln-Bassett School.

Clyburn said that her strategy for promoting voter turnout on an election day without a presidential election was to ask residents to vote as they passed by the polls.

Upon learning that petitioning mayoral candidates Sundiata Keitazulu and Ron Smith would be arriving at Lincoln-Bassett, Clyburn — who is unchallenged this year, but is on the Democratic ballot with Mayor Toni Harp — expressed delight.

“Nothing is a challenge without somebody to challenge you,” Clyburn said.

Keitazulu, who brought his eight-year-old daughter Dream, a student at Lincoln-Bassett, acknowledged his underdog status in the race, saying that he was “praying for a miracle.”

Minutes later, Smith stepped out of a car, and the two men strolled down the sidewalk together.

Smith, who had been up at Ward 28 polling place Hillhouse High School at 6 a.m., said that he had already encountered one former Harp supporter who had switched allegiances to Smith.

“The early bird catches the worm,” Smith said.

IMG_1637(12:45 p.m.) Candidates stationed at polls as votes trickle in

By Noah Daponte-Smith, Staff Reporter — follow @ndapontesmith for updates

Halfway through the day, the flow of voters to the Ward 1 polling place in the New Haven Free Public Library has remained slow but steady.

Just over 200 voters have cast their ballots as of 12:45 p.m. The News’ exit poll shows a strong lead for Sarah Eidelson’s ’12 camp. Both candidates are stationed outside the library on Temple Street, greeting voters as they head to cast their votes.

Eli Westerman ’18, a volunteer with Ugonna Eze’s ’16 campaign, said he is pleased with turnout so far. He said the campaign expects roughly 600 to 700 voters by the end of the day.

Eidelson’s camp has had an active presence on campus, canvassing across the residential colleges. Eidelson volunteers were seen on Old Campus and in campus dining halls encouraging students to vote if they have yet to do so.

Though Eze’s campaign has a larger presence outside the library, Eidelson has been joined by Ward 2 Alder Frank Douglass Jr.

Maxwell Ulin ’17, the elections coordinator for the Yale College Democrats, said canvassers are emphasizing Eidelson’s record as a leader in the city and her vow to push for lower unemployment in New Haven.

Eze said his campaign has not run door-to-door canvassing today, but has instead encouraged its volunteers to reach out to their friends and make sure they vote.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

(12:35 p.m.) Slow turnout at Ward 1 polling place

By Caitlin Wherry, Contributing Reporter — follow @caitsheaw for updates

Incumbent Sarah Eidelson ’12 is optimistic despite a slow morning at the polls.

As of noon today, 175 of approximately 4,300 Ward 1 residents have voted at the New Haven Free Public Library. Sixty-two percent of voters polled by the News voted for Eidelson.

“We’ve been having a really great time this morning.” Eidelson said. “[The voter turnout] picks up through the course of the day.”

The path into the voting booth is lined with balloons and promotional posters for both aldermanic candidates. Eidelson’s campaign has also set up large displays made out of several hundred postcards with statements of endorsement from current Yale students.

Eidelson said that the voters who have turned up so far this morning have had a very clear idea of the issues they are concerned about and which candidate they believe will best address them. She specifically cited economic inequality in New Haven and the Yale community as an issue that she hopes to tackle.

Eidelson has held the Ward 1 alder seat since 2012.

(11:18 a.m.) Students head to polls between classes

By Nitya Rayapati, Contributing Reporter

In between morning classes, students stopped by the New Haven Free Public Library to vote for mayor and alder.

Incumbent Sarah Eidelson ‘12 and challenger Ugonna Eze ‘16 stood outside the polling location, as a slow stream of voters entered the building. When casting ballots, students seemed to consider the alder’s role in New Haven as a key factor in deciding their vote.

“Sarah has had an exceptional first few terms, started long-term projects, and has great relationships with the other alders and the mayor. I think she shows a great commitment to New Haven, which I wasn’t sure about with the other candidate,” Layla Treuhaft-Ali ’17 said.

Both candidates were engaging with voters before they entered the library. Eze’s campaign had a larger presence in numbers than Eidelson’s. However, literature supporting the Eidelson campaign was more prominent in the area.

The alder’s ability to fortify Yale’s connection with New Haven was a key consideration among student voters.

“It doesn’t seem like [Sarah’s] taken initiative in involving the Yale community with the city. I’m a sophomore, and the first time I heard her name was a month ago during the primary,” Nicholas Strong ’18 said.

As of 11:18 a.m., 139 people have voted in Ward 1.