Gardner Drops Out

Melissa Bailey File PhotoLess 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.

Thomas MacMillan File PhotoStratton 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.

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posted by: AverageTaxpayer on October 17, 2013  6:01pm

Wow, and I thought a Union-backed Gardner stood a real chance of winning a re-match, what with all the Republicans and unaffiliated voters allowed to participate this November.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on October 17, 2013  8:54pm

Stratton is now unopposed in his quest to replace outgoing Alderwoman Alfreda Edwards.
Get rid for a New Haven Mayor Bloomberg.Both cut from the same cloth.

posted by: robn on October 18, 2013  8:32am

She had to drop. Her run was incongruous with UNITE HERE’s lame attempt to portray Elicker as Joe Lieberman.

posted by: Eddie on October 18, 2013  4:44pm


My experience with Unite Here is that they like electoral competition.  I can’t think of any Unite Here statement being made about Justin’s campaign against the Democratic Party.  If you can think of one, let me know. 

A member of Elicker’s campaign did, however, make a statement that is relevant to this issue.  His chief of finance stated, “We’re all Democrats. We should abide by the party decision. It would be a waste of a lot of human effort and time to go through this again.”  What a bizarre statement from someone who has raised so much money for Elicker, no?

posted by: HhE on October 19, 2013  5:58pm

Once again, robn rather hits it on the head. 

UNITE/HERE’s strategic objective:  maximum control of New Haven in order to extract the best possible contract from Yale in particular, and the city at larger in general.

Operational concept:  secure the mayor’s office, in addition to a super majority on the BoA.  Run Aldermanic candidates against M. Stratton and D. Houslen as pay back to keep everyone in line.