Working Families Party mayoral candidate Sarah Ganong has qualified for the Nov. 7 general election ballot, City Clerk Michael Smart reported Friday.
Another hopeful, Webstern Grant-Stovall, failed to submit enough signatures of qualified voters to make the ballot. (Scroll down in this story to read more about his and Ganong’s candidacies.)
That means that Ganong will join Marcus Paca having her name on the Nov. 7 ballot. The Democratic Party has endorsed two-term incumbent Toni Harp for a third term; Paca has submitted some 3,200 signatures of Democratic voters on petitions to qualify for a spot on a Sept. 12 Democratic primary ballot against her. He needs the registrar of voters office to verify that at least 1,852 of those signatures are valid to qualify. As of Friday mid-day, the verification process was still ongoing. It was still ongoing as well for Americo Carchia, who is seeking to have his name appear on the primary ballot against Democratic Party-endorsed probate judge candidate Clifton Graves Jr.
Smart also announced that Macey Torres has qualified for the Nov. 7 general ballot as an unaffiliated candidate against Hill Ward 4 Alder Evelyn Rodriguez. She needed three qualified signatures from ward voters; she had a total of four, according to Smart. Torres also sought to qualify for a Democratic primary against Rodriguez. But she failed to submit 48 verified signatures, Smart said. She reached 39; many of her other signatures turned out to be invalid because they came from voters outside the ward.
Sarah Ofosu has qualified for both a primary and general election challenge to Democratic-endorsed Newhallville/Prospect Hill Ward 19 candidate Kim Edwards. All 59 of her submitted Democratic primary petition signatures were valid, Smart said.
Former Alder Robert Ward has also qualified for Sept. 12 and Nov. 7 ballot challenges to Democratic-endorsed Ward 11 candidate Renee Hayward in the Heights.
Smart said all three alder candidates in West Hills/West Rock Ward 30 have qualified for the Sept. 12 primary: incumbent Michelle Sepulveda, Tosha James-Goldson, and Charles Delgado. The latter two also qualified for the general election ballot; Sepulveda did not submit petitions for that race.
An earlier version of this story follows:
Now The Counting Stars
A surprise last-minute entrant into the mayor’s race submitted petitions to have her name appear on New Haven’s general election ballot, along with a surprising request: She wants your vote, but she doesn’t want the job.
The candidate, Sarah Ganong of the Working Families Party, was among the crush of mayoral, probate judge, and alder candidates at the 200 Orange St. municipal office building racing to meet a 4 p.m. deadline Wednesday.
The deadline was for submitting petitions to appear on either the ballot for the Sept. 12 Democratic primary or the Nov. 7 general election.
Thanks to state law, it was a somewhat confusing process: Candidates who sought a spot on the primary ballot submitted petitions to the second-floor registrar of voters office, which in coming days will now check and validate or reject the names of registered voters who signed the petitions. But general-election candidates submitted their paperwork to the City Clerk’s office down the hall, which is responsible for vetting those petitions.
In some cases, the same candidates visited both offices. Several alder hopefuls submitted petitions to challenge party-endorsed candidates in both the primary and (as unaffiliated candidates) in the general election, in effect giving them two shots at the office. Those candidates include Macey Torres, who’s challenging Hill Alder Evelyn Rodriguez in Ward 4; Sarah Ofosu, who is challenging endorsed candidate Kim Edwards in Newhallville/Prospect Hill’s Ward 19.
Steven Winter submitted petitions to the clerk’s office to take on Rodney Williams in Newhallville’s Ward 21 in the general election.
Another candidate filed papers to challenge a party-endorsed candidate: Robert Kiley, to take on endorsed candidate Abby Roth in downtown/Audubon’s Ward 7. It was unclear Wednesday afternoon if he had filed petitions with the Secretary of the State’s office (another option) to make the general election ballot. He did not file petitions with the city clerk’s office.
Three candidates petitioned for the primary ballot in West Hills/West Rock’s Ward 30, where the Democrats did not endorse a candidate: Michelle Sepulveda, a former alder who also as of this month is filling out the term of Carlton Staggers, who resigned; Tosha James-Goldson, and Charles Delgado. James-Goldson and Delgado also filed petitions to run in the general election.
Candidates for citywide office need the verified signatures of 1,852 registered Democrats to qualify for the primary ballot. They need only 122 signatures of registered New Haven voters to have their names appear on the citywide ballot. Alder candidates needed as few as three signatures in some cases to make the ballot. (Click here for a story about why the number of required signatures dropped precipitously this year.)
Americo Carchia submitted over 2,000 signatures to challenge endorsed candidate Clifton Graves Jr. in the Democratic primary for probate judge. He did not submit petitions to the City Clerk’s office to run in the general election. (The Republicans have endorsed a candidate, Melissa Papantones.)
Dems Cede Ward 1
Yale student Hacibey Catalbasoglu submitted petitions to run just as an unaffiliated candidate in the general election for Ward 1 alder (representing the central Yale campus). No Democrat ended up submitting petitions to run, and the party has not endorsed anyone, meaning Catalbosoglu has a clear path to adding a non-Democrat to the Board of Alders next term.
Incumbent Democratic Alder Sarah Eidelson said Wednesday she decided it was “time to move on” after three terms, during which she was proud of work she and colleagues did to help lower crime, get a new Q House project started, and promote youth opportunities.
Democratic Town Chairman Vincent Mauro Jr. welcomed Catalbasoglu’s candidacy, noting that he grew up in New Haven. “It’s great a First Ward alder from Yale has New Haven connections,” Mauro said. He praised Eidelson for having “brought strong and fresh ideas to the board and the city, as so many in the First Ward have done before. I hope [Catalbasoglu] continues in that tradition.”
Paca Crew Tops 3,000
Mayoral candidate Marcus Paca, who on Tuesday was certified to appear on the Nov. 7 ballot, said his campaign submitted around 3,200 signatures to appear on the Democratic primary ballot as well.
His team had to hustle: By law they had only two weeks to collect all those names. Paca said he personally collected close to 1,000 signatures in that time. Now the waiting starts, as the registrar of voters team verifies signatures. A final determination on whether Paca makes the primary ballot is expected either at the end of this week or early next week.
“I’m a Democrat. If she’s going to win, she’s going to earn it,” he said of incumbent Democratic Mayor Toni Harp, whom he’s challenging.
And now there’s Sarah Ganong, as well.
Ganon, who’s 26, serves as political director of the progressive Working Families Party. She was an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign; she ran the successful 2016 insurgent campaign of Joshua Elliott to become a state representative from Hamden.
Ganong submitted around 200 signatures to the clerk’s office Thursday about 15 minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline. She said she’s running in the hopes of obtaining 1 percent of the vote on Nov. 7, which would then guarantee the party a spot on the next municipal election ballot. The party would then use that spot to cross-endorse progressive Democrats, its preferred tactic elsewhere in Connecticut and in other states.
“I’m running for ballot access,” Ganong said.
What would she do if she accidentally won the election?
“That seems highly unlikely,” she responded.
She also said she does not plan to participate in mayoral campaign debates.
Working Families already has ballot lines in Hartford, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Danbury, Windham, Meriden, Bethel, and New Britain, Ganong said. “New Haven seems like a good city to have a third party to cross-endorse candidates,” she said.
She and Paca signed each other’s petitions to make the ballot. “I believe in democracy,” Paca said.
A fourth candidate submitted petitions to make the mayoral general election ballot, as well: a 27-year-old truck driver from Orchard Street named Webstern Grant-Stovall. “I’ve always had a political mind. I always wanted to get into politics,” Grant-Stovall told the Independent. “I’m hoping to bring community back to New Haven. I really want to change the local community and bring more skills and education for people who are at risk.”