Less than three weeks before the Nov. 5 election, Maureen Gardner on Thursday ended her campaign for alderman, sending the city/town clerk’s office scrambling to cross her name off the ballots.
Gardner (pictured), a 48-year-old Yale union steward and administrative support staffer for the Yale Alumni Fund, had been running for alderman in Ward 19, which comprises parts of East Rock and Newhallville. She was running in the general election as a petitioning candidate after losing the Democratic primary to lawyer Mike Stratton.
Stratton is now unopposed in his quest to replace outgoing Alderwoman Alfreda Edwards.
Gardner notified the city/town clerk Thursday afternoon that she was ending her campaign, according to Sally Brown, deputy city/town clerk.
Just after 3 p.m. Gardner issued a press release announcing she was withdrawing from the campaign.
“I ran for alderperson for a chance to create more job opportunities for New Haven residents, ensure excellent education for all children in New Haven, and to bring escalating property taxes under control,” wrote Gardner, who ran with the backing of Yale’s UNITE HERE unions. “I believe that bringing people together across neighborhoods is the only way to solve the serious challenges we face in this city. I congratulate my primary opponent Mike Stratton and call on him to step up and work for all residents in Ward 19—in Newhallville and East Rock alike.”
Stratton couldn’t be immediately reached for this story.
Stratton won the primary by 430 to 264 votes.Stratton ran as a self-financed candidate against Gardner, who was supported by union troops. During the primary, Stratton lit a fire with his remarks about downsizing the fire department—click here to read more about the issues in the race.
Because Gardner waited so long to withdraw from the race, the city/town clerk had already issued some absentee ballots with her name on them. Brown said the city won’t reissue any absentee ballots.
“I’m not reprinting anything. We’re just going to block her name off the absentee ballots that we’re issuing.”
She said her staff got out a black magic marker Thursday afternoon and crossed Gardner’s name off of about 70 to 80 absentee ballots.
“The absentee ballots we’ve already issued, we can’t do anything about,” Brown said. Gardner’s name will remain on those.
Brown said Gardner’s name will not appear on the ballot in November.