Despite an upset in Ward 21, the New Haven Board of Alders will remain predominantly Democratic after Tuesday’s election.
All 30 seats on the Board of Alders were up for election, but only eight of those seats were contested. Two aldermanic races, in Ward 6 and Ward 18, involved Republican candidates, both of whom lost by significant margins Tuesday. In the other six contested races, the Democratic nominee won every race except in Ward 21.
Ward 21, which includes a portion of Newhallville’s representation on the board, saw a major upset, as independent candidate Steven Winter ’11 defeated Democratic nominee and Ward 21 Democratic co-chair Rodney Williams by 231 to 118 votes.
Unopposed, independent candidate Hacibey Catalbasoglu ’19 was elected Ward 1 alder with 244 votes. Ward 1 encompasses eight of Yale’s residential colleges and Old Campus.
Catalbasoglu expressed excitement about his win and the voter turnout in Ward 1, which has historically been low. In the Democratic primary election in September, there were only 46 votes cast in Ward 1. Catalbasoglu received five times that many votes on Tuesday.
“I feel great about the election,” Catalbasoglu told the News on Tuesday night. “Since day one, this election wasn’t necessarily about beating an opponent; it was about creating a dialogue.”
Yale’s remaining six colleges not encompassed by Ward 1 — Silliman, Timothy Dwight, Morse, Ezra Stiles, Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges — are part of Ward 22 and will continue to be served over the next two years by Jeanette Morrison, who was reelected in an uncontested race.
“I am so excited that our Democratic Party prevailed so we can continue to push New Haven forward,” Morrison told the News. She added that she hopes to continue her work with the Harp administration on the Board of Alder’s legislative agenda, including issues like safe streets, employment and community policing.
Morrison also said she welcomes the additional Yale students brought into the ward by the new colleges, and that she hopes to continue to meet with students so that they are “informed of the things going on in the community.”
Alder Aaron Greenberg GRD ’18 was re-elected as Ward 8 alder, and Charles Decker GRD ’18 was elected as Ward 9 alder in an uncontested race, replacing Jessica Holmes, who served the ward since 2011. Greenberg and Decker also serve as leaders in Yale’s graduate student union, Local 33. Their uncontested victories bolster the board’s majority of alders supported by UNITE HERE, the umbrella organization that represents Yale’s worker unions and includes Local 33.
Ward 6 and Ward 18 were the only two races with a Republican challenger.
Salvatore DeCola, the incumbent Ward 18 alder, who successfully retained his seat despite opposition from Republican challenger Joshua Van Hoesen, said he felt his win validated his work.
“I’m very happy and humbled by how the people spoke, and it shows that the hard work that I’ve been doing for the last six years is accepted by the ward out here,” he said.
DeCola said he was particularly concerned with working to make New Haven “safer against the climate change that’s happening,” in particular noting the need to better prepare the city for extreme weather events.
Dolores Colón ’91 was re-elected in Ward 6 after facing a challenge from Republican candidate John Carlson. She expressed joy after her win and relief that the election was over. She described the election as “democracy at its best.”
Morrison, too, expressed happiness that Colón had retained her “rightful seat” as Ward 6 alder. “Her constituents have spoken that Dolores does an excellent job,” Morrison said.
Abigail Roth ’90 LAW ’94 won the Ward 7 alder seat in a race against registered write-in candidate Robert Kiley. Roth will replace Lukas Moe GRD ’19, another member of Local 33, who replaced Alberta Witherspoon earlier this year.
Roth also served as the alder for Ward 7, which includes the Timothy Dwight College annex, prior to Witherspoon’s tenure.
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