At 8:08 PM on Wednesday night, Sarah Eidelson ‘12 was declared the winner of the Democratic primary election for Ward 1 alder. With 307 votes, Eidelson handily beat out her opponent Fish Stark ’17, who tallied 175 votes. Both candidates campaigned throughout Election Day, from the early hours of the morning to the moment when the last ballot was cast, standing sentinel outside the New Haven Free Public Library and making the rounds across campus.
After the polls closed at 8:00 PM, the votes were counted at the library. Dozens of Eidelson supporters were gathered in the hallway just outside the voting area, waiting tensely for the decision to be announced. Eight minutes later, a man (apparently an Eidelson supporter, judging by his excitement) dramatically burst through the door, emphatically yelling Eidelson’s name to the waiting crowd. After the whoops and cheers died down, a calmer man formally announced Eidelson as the winner of the election.
The excitement was palpable. Cries of “I believe that we will win!” and “Sarah! Sarah!” filled the narrow hallway as music blasted from a stereo outside. In her victory speech, she thanked her supporters and mentioned the work that still needed to be done: for the general election, with Yale, and in New Haven. Later, she mentioned that she was “incredibly humbled by the unity that happened this night.” Her perspective, she said, is that “it’s extremely clear that the students have a vision for Yale and New Haven being stronger, and that we’re actually willing to fight for it.” Eidelson will go head to head with Republican Ugonna Eze ’16 on November 3.
While Eidelson and her team celebrated at the library, Stark and his supporters gathered at Wall Street Pizza. The mood at the Stark gathering was subdued, but optimistic. “This campaign was always about building a relationship between Yale and the city,” said Stark. In his concession statement, he thanked his staff, mentioning their successes individually in some cases. Regarding the election, he mentioned that it “ends tonight, but this conversation about how we’re going to move this relationship with the city forward has really just started.”
Eze, the uncontested Republican candidate for Ward 1, is looking forward to the general election contest. “Our team is excited,” he said, “we’re really looking forward to the debate and we’re very confident.” Eze asserted that his campaign has “the stronger message and better outreach.” He also mentioned a theme that will surely come up time and time again during campaign season: his bipartisan support.
As Eidelson wins the primary, the general election looms large for both her and Eze. Canvassers will return to knocking on doors, meet-and-greets will continue on the Green, and fliers will remain scattered throughout campus. Whatever the case, the fight for Ward 1 is far from over. Both Eidelson and Eze still have an election to win.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed Ugonna Eze’s class year as 2017. Eze is in the Class of 2016.