Ethan Wolin, Contributing Photographer

In Tuesday’s municipal election, New Haven residents had the opportunity to vote for the city’s mayor, their alder, the Board of Education Representative and City Clerk. 

In the mayoral election, two-term incumbent Justin Elicker, running on the Democrat and Working Families Party ballot lines, beat challengers Tom Goldenberg, who ran on the Republican and Independent ballot lines, and unaffiliated candidate Wendy Hamilton. 

As of 12:25 a.m., Elicker had just shy of 80 percent of the votes, with Goldenberg securing 18 percent and Hamilton taking just under two percent. Approximately 628 absentee ballots have been returned but not yet counted across the city.

Turnout was at 24.5 percent, up from the last municipal election in 2021 which saw 23 percent turnout. According to the Registrar of Voters office, there are 52,419 registered voters in New Haven.

Around New Haven, there were also ten contested alder races, a handful of whose challengers were Republican, Green Party and write-in candidates. All thirty races were won by Democratic candidates.

These races include Ward 1, where Kiana Flores ’25 won an uncontested race to represent most of Yale’s undergraduates. In Wooster Square’s Ward 8, incumbent Democrat Ellen Cupo crushed Republican challenger Andrea DiLieto Zola, winning 85 percent of the vote.

On the eastern side of New Haven in Ward 13, incumbent Democrat Rosa Ferrero-Santana secured 64 percent of the vote, defeating Green Party challenger Paul Garlinghouse, who took 26 percent, and Republican Deborah Reyes, who trailed with 10 percent.

And in the city’s most conservative district, Ward 18 in Morris Cove, incumbent Democrat Sal DeCola survived two challengers with 40 percent of the vote. Republican nominee Lisa Milone took 28 percent, and a sizable 32 percent of the vote went to write-ins — presumably for Democratic write-in candidate Susan Campion.

The City Clerk position was a contested race between incumbent Democrat Michael Smart and Republican challenger Anthony Acri. Smart took the race with 86 percent of the vote. Though the Board of Education Representative District 2 race was initially contested, incumbent Darnell Goldson dropped out of the race, leaving challenger Andrea Downer the seat on the Board.

The ballot also asked voters to approve changes to the City Charter, the document that outlines the structure of New Haven’s government, which is revised every ten years and was revised by the Board of Alders this year. The revisions sparked significant controversy in the lead-up to the election, despite receiving backing from city Democrats.

Though the seven revisions were not outlined on the ballot, the most consequential change was the extension of the terms of mayor and alders, from two to four years. The changes also included explicit instructions for aldermanic processes, increasing alder stipends and changing all language in the Charter to be gender-neutral.

Sixty-four percent of voters opted to approve the changes. The four-year terms will take effect in 2027.

– Mia Cortés Castro

Read the News’s live coverage of election day below

8:47 p.m.

With all 30 wards reporting, the News projects as of 8:47 p.m. that the charter revision passed in New Haven. The revision’s passage means that beginning in 2027, the mayor and alders will serve four-year terms instead of two years.

Turnout is up from the 2021 election. There were roughly 12,865 votes cast this year, including approximately 628 absentee ballots. In 2021, 11,581 votes were cast.

8:15 p.m.

With results returned from five of New Haven’s 30 wards, as of 8:09 p.m., the News projects that incumbent mayor Justin Elicker, a Democrat, has won a third term in office. Elicker defeated challengers Tom Goldenberg and Wendy Hamilton. 

In Ward 1, which includes most of Yale’s undergraduate population, the News projects Kiana Flores ’25 has won the race for alder. Flores ran unopposed to succeed Alex Guzhnay ’24 and got 83 machine votes.

In Ward 8, the News projects as of 8:04 p.m. that incumbent alder Ellen Cupo, a Democrat, has won re-election over Republican candidate Andre DiLieto Zola. Cupo won the machine vote 382-69, with three write-in ballots.

In Ward 13, the News projects as of 8:12 p.m. that incumbent alder Rosa Ferrero-Santana, a Democrat, has won re-election over Green Party candidate Paul Garlinghouse and Republican Deborah Reyes. Ferrero-Santana won the machine vote with 321 votes, Garlinghouse got 129 and Reyes 50.

In Ward 18, the News projects as of 8:03 p.m. that incumbent alder Sal DeCola, a Democrat, has won re-election over Republican candidate Lisa Milone and Democratic write-in candidate Susan Campion. DeCola won with 438 votes to Milone’s 311 and 357 write-in ballots, which likely went to Campion.

8:10 p.m.

Ward 8 Alder Ellen Cupo was re-elected with 382 votes in Ward 8. The results were announced at Conte West Hills Middle School, which she once attended. Cupo said that passing housing legislation is a priority for her next term.  

“I spent my entire summer with many of these people knocking on doors, talking to neighbors about affordable housing, about jobs, opportunities for our youth, and resoundingly, people really wanted an investment in affordable housing,” Cupo said. 

– Lua Prado

7:59 p.m.

Gian Rodriguez, a first-time voter and student at the University of New Haven, made a last-minute appearance at the Ward 18 polling site to cast his vote for incumbent mayoral candidate Justin Elicker.

“I thought it was time to dip my toes into our town’s political process,” he told the News. “I think Elicker’s done good work and I’d like to vote him back in.”

Rodriguez added that he voted “yes” to the charter revision. 

But just minutes later, a group of voters awaiting the election results hooted and hollered with the announcement of the voting results in Ward 18 for the charter revision: 344 yes, 630 no. Ward 18 is the most conservative in the city.

“Two more years!” they chanted in jest. 

– Ben Raab

7:47 p.m.

Voters continue to trickle out of Ives Memorial Library, the Ward 1 polling location.

Viveca Morris, a research scholar at Yale Law School, voted around 6:40 p.m. She supported incumbent mayor Justin Elicker.

“I was very happy to vote for Justin Elicker again,” Morris told the News. “It seems like he’s a great public servant, and I think New Haven’s lucky to have him.” 

Jairo Acevedo left the polls around 7:25 p.m. He voiced concern about low voter turnout and confusion regarding the charter revisions on today’s ballot, saying there was not much information about the charter revision process.

Acevedo ended up voting for the proposed charter revision, voicing support for a four-year mayoral term. 

“Two years is too short a time,” he said to the News.

He stressed the importance of voting in local elections, naming education, jobs, and public safety as key concerns for him in this election.

 “We have the power to decide who is in charge [of] the city, about the laws, about everything,” Acevedo said. “For me, it’s very important to vote. This is a right for citizens.”

– Zachary Suri

6:35 p.m.

Robert Forman, the Managing Editor of Medicine@Yale, told the News he voted around 6:35 p.m. at the Ward 1 polling location. Forman declined to comment directly on whom he supported in the mayoral election and said just that “one candidate presented himself better than the other.” 

Forman voted for the charter revision and spoke in favor of extending mayoral terms to four years, saying it was useful for attracting more talent to the mayor’s office.

 “Two years is a waste of time,” Forman told the News. “Campaigning already takes up too much of politicians’ times, and when it’s every two years, so much more so.” 

– Zachary Suri

5:59 p.m.

Incumbent Ward 18 Democratic alder Sal DeCola told the News that he believes he has lost votes in this year’s election because of his support of the 43-year Tweed-New Haven Airport lease and the decision to expand the airport. Democratic write-in candidate Susan Campion in particular has been vocal about her staunch opposition to expanding Tweed.

DeCola explained that he supports the expansion because it’s “good for the city.” He emphasized that his role as an alder requires him to think about the effect of policy on New Haven at large, and not just on one neighborhood.

“I made the right decision for New Haven,” DeCola said. “I don’t vote for the votes.” 

– Ariela Lopez

5:56 p.m.

Voting in Wooster Square’s Ward 8, Leslie Singer is a professor at the School of Visual Arts who voted yes to the charter revision because she thinks two-year terms are not long enough for alders to enact change. 

“After two years, they’re just getting the ball rolling,” she said. 

Singer also said she voted Elicker for mayor because she supports his commitment to preventing  gentrification and preserving diversity within the city, explaining that “part of the [city’s] color is the color.” 

– Natasha Khazzam

5:49 p.m.

In Ward 18, the three-way race for alder is seeing much higher turnout than the other wards the News is covering. As of 5:49 p.m. 957 people have voted. 

Ward 18 usually has high turnout. In 2021, the ward saw the highest turnout ward in the city with 1,015 votes, a number it will likely surpass tonight

– Ariela Lopez

5:45 p.m.

Maya Gant, the moderator at the Ward 8 polling location, said that as of 5:45 p.m., 406 people in the ward had voted. She also noted that voter turnout has been relatively stable all day. 

With just over two hours to go before polls close, the ward is approaching the 458 votes it saw in 2021, a race without a competitive alder primary.

 – Natasha Khazzam

5:20 p.m.

Voters continue streaming into the Ward 13 polling location to the sounds of candidates encouraging voters to “Vote Row E,” the Green Party’s row, and “Vote Row A! Santana.”

Michelle Frasier, an adjunct instructor at Gateway Community College, said she voted no on the charter revision. Frasier said that she does not support what she described as the unequal treatment and resources invested in certain neighborhoods and would not like to see that practice extended to four-year terms.

– Laura Ospina

5:15 p.m. 

Elena Lobato, a retired resident in Ward 8, voted for Elicker in today’s election. Lobato moved to Wooster Square from New York around two years ago. She told the News that although she is not entirely familiar with Mayor Elicker’s policies, she thinks he has done “a good job so far.”

The Democratic Party has a strong hold on Ward 8, where several voters shared that they voted solely to elect Democratic candidates. Of the eight voters whom the News spoke to about the mayoral race, seven backed Elicker while one supported Goldenberg.

Dawn Mosher, an administrative assistant, voted for Cupo for alder and said she voted to re-elect Elicker because she believes he has done a strong job in past years, particularly in his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A registered Democrat, Mosher added that she voted yes on the charter revision because she received a text message this morning from a group affiliated with the Democratic Party encouraging her to vote yes.

– Natasha Khazzam

5:05 p.m.

Back in Ward 13, Kristina Alicea, an after-school teacher with the New Haven Public School System, said she voted straight-Democrat for the charter revision. 

“The alders have to do so much that the people want them to do, whether that is fixing potholes in the streets, making sure people don’t act up, and making our streets safe for our children to trick-or-treat during Halloween,” Alicea said. “It’s a rush against time. Give them what they deserve: a full four years and the funding they need.”

– Laura Ospina

4:51 p.m.

Republican and Independent mayoral candidate Tom Goldenberg’s wife, Jessica Holzer, has been at the Ward 18 polls since 8:30 a.m. Only one other volunteer from Goldenberg’s campaign has been at the site today, but Holzer said that the campaign has a “very buzzy WhatsApp group” of volunteers around the city. 

Although Goldenberg is the Republican nominee, Holzer’s sign reads “Democrat for Mayor.” She explained that the campaign did not alter their messaging after Goldenberg received the Republican endorsement. Back in August, Goldenberg failed to turn in enough signatures to qualify for the Democratic primary.

“Tom is a registered Democrat, and none of his policies have changed,” she said. 

– Ariela Lopez

4:50 p.m.

At the Ives Main Library, the polling site for Ward 1 which covers most of Yale’s undergraduate population, Kiana Flores ’25 is running uncontested for alder. Flores has been outside the polling site since 6 a.m. 

As of 4:50 p.m., 59 people have voted in Ward 1. The ward features some of the lowest turnout in New Haven: in 2021, only 93 people voted.

“I think it’ll be pretty average [the voter turnout] for this ward, which, given that it’s mostly Yale students, there’s a lot of international students and quite a bit of people who vote in other states, we didn’t expect, a huge turnout,” Flores said. 

Flores shared that election day was both exciting and nerve-wracking for her. She said she wanted to make sure she is giving voters the correct election information and monitor the voting process to make sure it is running smoothly. 

She shared that while there had been no issues with the voting, she had been worried about the weather when the day began.

“When we got here at 6 a.m. in the morning, it was pouring rain. And so we were kind of freaking out because we were like, oh shoot, voter turnout is going to be particularly low if it’s raining,” Flores said. “Thankfully, it cleared up, and we were able to set up the table.”

– Lua Prado

4:50 p.m.

Back in Ward 13, support for the charter revision continues to grow. For Marvin Taylor, who works in Veterans Affairs, the charter revision “needs to happen.” Taylor voted yes. 

Taylor also said he voted to re-elect Mayor Elicker as he returned Taylor’s calls on multiple occasions, whereas Taylor said he found Ferrero-Santana unresponsive. When he arrived at the polling location, Taylor said he had not made his mind up in the alder election, but after speaking to Garlinghouse outside of the school, he chose to go Green. 

– Laura Ospina

4:40 p.m.

In Ward 13, 338 voters have cast ballots. Linda Davis-Cannon, a poll worker, said that today’s election numbers are typical for a municipal election and estimated that there are usually about 540 votes at the end of the day. In the 2021 alder race, there were 468 votes cast in Ward 13.

José Garcia, a manager for a catering company, said that he voted Democrat all down his ballot, as well as for the charter revision. Of the six voters whom the News spoke to in Ward 13 this afternoon, five voted yes and one left it blank.

– Laura Ospina

4:38 p.m.

The Ward 8 polling site is at the gymnasium of Conte West Hills Middle School in Wooster Square. 

According to Ellen Cupo, the incumbent Democratic alder Ward 8 Alder, voter turnout slowed in the late afternoon but has recently picked up as people have gotten off work. Republican challenger Andrea DiLieto Zola is also at the polling site.

Mayor Elicker arrived at Conte West Hills Middle School, where he briefly spoke with Cupo and Zola and greeted voters on their way to the polls.

Natasha Khazzam

4:35 p.m.

In Ward 18, alder candidates and their volunteers are staked out outside Nathan Hale High School in the East Shore with tents, doughnuts and an army of lawn signs. Republican candidate Lisa Milone said she has been at the polling location since 4:30 a.m., while Democratic write-in candidate Susan Campion’s team arrived at 5 a.m. and incumbent Democrat Sal DeCola’s team said they came at 6 a.m., when polls opened.

Both Paul Campion — Susan’s spouse — and Milone said that they believe voter turnout has been “positive.”

However, volunteers for DeCola’s team told the News that turnout seems low compared to the last alder election in 2021.

Volunteers for Campion’s campaign make up the largest share of canvassers. The volunteers are offering voters a palm card with information on how to vote for Campion, which requires voters to write in her name clearly enough so that the “voter’s intent” can be deciphered by the Registrar of Voters.

Milone said that she believes the most important work of the campaign happened prior to Election Day. 

“I think 90 percent of people know what they’re doing, they know who they’re voting for,” she said.  

– Ariela Lopez

4:15 p.m.

Debby Johnson, a teacher, voted for the Democratic candidates for mayor and alder in Ward 13. Johnson said she wanted Elicker to “finish what he started” and that she voted for Ferrero-Santana because she was on the same ballot line as Elicker. She voted yes on the charter revision question because it “made sense for her.”

Ricardo Smith, an electrician, voted for Deborah Reyes, the Republican candidate for Ward 13 alder, because Ferrero-Santana had been unresponsive when he had reached out about the condition of his sidewalk, Smith said. Smith contrasted Ferrero-Santana with Elicker, whom he voted for. When he complained to the mayor’s office about the damaged sidewalk, someone from the city government arrived that same day to fix it. 

Markel Bond, a realtor, said he voted yes on the charter revision as two-year mayoral terms are too “short and stressful.” As a Democrat, Bond chose to keep his ballot blue, backing Elicker and Ferrero-Santana. 

– Laura Ospina

4:00 p.m.

Paul Garlinghouse, the Green Party candidate for alder in Ward 13, said that turnout was above average and predicted that the alder race would “come down to the wire.” He said he has been campaigning at the polling location — Benjamin Jepson Magnet School —  since before 6 a.m. in the rain this morning. 

– Laura Ospina

3:50 p.m.

Back in Ward 13, incumbent Rosa Ferrero-Santana, who has been at the polling location since 7 a.m., discussed her support for the charter revision with the News. She explained that alders only receive a $2,000 annual stipend, not a salary. 

Ferrero-Santana said that voters are understanding when she explains why the charter revision includes an increase of that stipend to $5,000 a year. 

– Laura Ospina 

11:48 a.m.

Polls have been open for almost six hours, and 180 people have voted in Ward 8. In 2021, the last year with a municipal election, 458 people voted in the ward. That election did not feature a contested alder election or a potential charter revision.

– Chris Tillen

11:38 a.m.

Sophia and Martha Miller, who are both retired, told the News they both voted for Cupo. 

“Knowing her experience, she’s been around for a good while and knows the feel of how things should be,” Sophia Miller said. “We know Ellen.” 

The two said they also both voted for incumbent Elicker. 

“The Mayor’s done a good job, a fantastic job, and we should let him finish what he’s got on his mind,” Martha Miller said. 

– Chris Tillen

11:00 a.m.

 sourav guha who works in higher education for a college consortium supporting students, faculty and staff of color, stopped by to vote. guha voted for Cupo. 

“She’s really prioritized housing as an issue which I think is obviously a huge deal. Her opponent is really focused more on policing, which I don’t think is the right approach,” guha said. 

guha also voted yes on the charter revision and voted for incumbent Mayor Justin Elicker. 

“I was sort of ambivalent but I voted for Justin Elicker on the Working Families [Party] line. The Working Families endorsement means a lot to me,” guha told the News.

– Chris Tillen

10:53 a.m.

In Ward 8, Mark Ciarlo, who is retired, voted for Ellen Cupo and voted yes on the charter revision. 

“I think there should be four year mayoral terms because, with two years, by the time they get their feet on the ground they have to start running for re-election” Ciarlo said. 

— Chris Tillen


10:42 a.m.

In Ward 8, incumbent Democrat Alder Cupo is outside the polling location greeting voters. Republican candidate Andrea DiLieto Zola is not present. 

In an interview with the News, Cupo emphasized her campaign tenets of affordable housing, providing good jobs for New Haven residents, and opportunities for youth. 

Regarding the charter revision, Cupo noted her firm support. 

“I think a four year term would give me the time to build relationships with folks in the city and folks on my board,” said Cupo, adding that the four year term would also aid in passing progressive legislation. 

Furthermore, Cupo noted that the charter revision could modernize legislation by making the charter gender-neutral and by increasing the annual alder stipend from $2,000 to $5,000. Cupo said the $2,000 alder stipend has remained constant since 1994. 

Unaffiliated mayoral candidate Wendy Hamilton was also at the polls in Ward 8. In an interview with the News, Hamilton expressed frustration with a lack of media coverage on her campaign. 

— Chris Tillen

10:41 a.m.

Mayor Justin Elicker arrived at the Ward 13 polling place just after 10 a.m., with approximately a dozen other people already present.

In an interview with WFSB Channel 3 at the polling site, Elicker touted accomplishments such as increased funding for the city from the state and Yale. In another term, Elicker said he would focus on affordable housing, public safety and education, including through the New Haven Tutoring Initiative, where he said he has worked as a tutor.

Elicker also urged New Haven voters to support city charter reforms that would, among other changes, expand local officials’ terms to four years from two. 

“Elections are important, but elections every two years just distract from the work,” Elicker said.

In a virtual hearing last night, the New Haven Democracy Fund’s board delayed action on a complaint that Elicker’s campaign had improperly used its public money for flyers advocating for the charter revision. The complaint came from New Haven Republican Town Committee Chair John Carlson.

Elicker told the News that his campaign consulted with the Democracy Fund’s administrator in September before printing the materials.

“We think we followed the rules, but if there’s a gray area we’re happy to answer questions by the Democracy Fund, because I’m a big believer in it,” Elicker said.

The mayor left the polling place at about 10:40 a.m. after speaking with voters.

Ethan Wolin

10:30 a.m. 

Outside the Ward 8 polling place at Conte West Hills Magnet School in Wooster Squared, Bart and Cheryl Szczarba reflected on their votes. Cheryl, a real estate agent, said that she voted for incumbent Democrat Ellen Cupo

“Ellen does a nice job communicating and getting the neighborhood on track,” she said.

Bart, who is retired, voted for Cupo as well. He said that the couple knows Cupo and feels she has done a good job as their alder. 

When asked how she voted on the charter revision by the News, Cheryl said she had “reluctantly” voted yes on the revision

“We didn’t like the fact that they had grouped so many things together, but we really wanted to see the mayor be a four year term,” she said. 

— Chris Tillen 


10:01 a.m.

David Santana, son of Ward 13 Alder Rosa Ferraro-Santana, worked as a chef in Silliman College for 22 years ending in August. He has volunteered this year for Elicker’s reelection campaign.

Outside the Ward 13 polling place, Santana said his mother’s achievements over eight terms in office include adding a roundabout to Quinnipiac Avenue, advancing baseball field renovations at Fairmont Park and helping fund the construction of the very school building where voters are casting their ballots, Benjamin Jepson Magnet School.

Ethan Wolin

9:41 a.m.

Fair Haven Heights Alder Rosa Ferraro-Santana, a Democrat, and her Green Party challenger, Paul Garlinghouse, are both present outside Ward 13’s polling place, Benjamin Jepson Magnet School.

As longtime resident Anne Rhodes arrived to vote, she told the News that she had supported Ferraro-Santana in past elections but would vote for Garlinghouse today, because he was focused on her top priority, traffic calming. 

Rhodes’ husband, Carl Testa, who said he had supported Green Party candidate Patricia Kane in 2021, planned to vote for Garlinghouse as well.

“Rosa’s done a good job over 16 years, but it’s time for someone new to come in,” Testa said.

The Republican candidate, Deborah Reyes, was not at Benjamin Jepson Magnet School.

Ethan Wolin

6:00 a.m.

Today is election day in New Haven, with polls open across the city from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. — there are several key races that the News has been following.

At the top of the ticket is the mayoral election, where two-term incumbent Democrat Justin Elicker, who is also running on the Working Families Party line, is facing off against ex-McKinsey consultant Tom Goldenberg, who is running on the Republican and Independent ballot lines. Unaffiliated candidate Wendy Hamilton rounds out the field.  

Elicker and Goldenberg have sparred throughout the campaign, with a recent debate focused on issues of transparency in city government. Another major issue in the election is education and the state of New Haven Public Schools.

Besides the mayoral race, the most closely watched race is a ballot question to revise the city’s charter. The most controversial part is the proposal to extend terms for the mayor and alders to four-year terms. Local and state Democrats have gone all out for the revision in recent weeks, but the outcome of the question, even in heavily Democratic New Haven, is far from certain.   

Aside from the citywide races, there are contested elections in ten aldermanic wards across the city. Several of these races feature write-in candidates. The News has covered four of these races.

In Ward 8, in the Wooster Square neighborhood, incumbent Democrat Ellen Cupo is being challenged by Republican Andrea Zola. The candidates faced off in a tense debate last week. In eastern New Haven, Democratic incumbents face challengers in Wards 13, 17 and 18, in races focused on the unanimous Democratic control of the Board of Alders and the expansion of Tweed airport

Ward 1, which covers most of Yale’s undergraduate population, will elect a new alder today as Kiana Flores ’25, a New Havener and climate activist, is running for the position unopposed.

Yale students living on Old Campus or in Jonathan Edwards, Branford, Saybrook, Davenport, Pierson, Berkeley or Grace Hopper colleges live in Ward 1 and can vote at 133 Elm St.

Students living in Morse, Ezra Stiles, Benjamin Franklin, Pauli Muarry, Silliman or Timothy Dwight colleges live in Ward 22 and can vote at 55 Foote St.

Students who live off campus can find their polling location here. Polls close at 8 p.m. 

– Nathaniel Rosenberg, City Editor