Now The Counting Starts

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 Lee 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

Paul Bass PhotoChristopher Peak PhotoA 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

Christopher Peak PhotoYale 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.”

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posted by: RobertBaratheon on August 9, 2017  5:20pm

Thoroughly excited to see Paca should make the Democratic primary ballot with signatures to spare! The race should get very interesting from here on out. Competition is good for everyone in the city, and I for one am glad Harp will be feeling some pressure.

posted by: welcometosohu on August 9, 2017  5:29pm

Very much hope Ganong makes it! I’d love to have a Working Families line on the ballot.

posted by: Bill Saunders on August 9, 2017  5:39pm

Congratulations Marcus—3200 Signatures is a great accomplishment!!!! 

Met Sarah on the campaign trail today as well, and threw a signature her way, after all, perpetual write-in candidate Roger Uehlein signed a Paca Petitition for me….

and by the way for all you would be last minute entrants to the contest—write-in candidates are accepted up to two weeks before the election….so, if you are so inclined it’s not too late! (yet)_

posted by: Anderson Scooper on August 9, 2017  7:06pm

Anyone know who Robert Kiley is? Did he collect signatures as a Democrat? Is he another UNITE HERE person?

Glad if we’re going to have a choice in Ward 7. Just nobody I know is familiar with the guy.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 9, 2017  7:54pm

She and Paca signed each other’s petitions to make the ballot. “I believe in democracy,” Paca said.

True Democracy is Proportional representation in which the people have more of a voice.Not a crooked two party duopoly.Under the crooked two party duopoly laws got passed by Democrats and Republicans and upheld by the courts, candidates of other parties face discriminatory ballot access and campaign financing hurdles, gerrymandering, exclusion from debates.

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.

The Working Families Party is nothing more the Snake-Oil and Three Card Monte Sales Man.They call themselves progressives. But when it came to The governor race between slick Andrew Cuomo and the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins the true progressive. They back slick Andrew Cuomo. For governor.In fact slick Andrew Cuomo and Slick Dan Malloy have the same record.

- Funded privately owned charter schools at the expense of public schools;

—Forced state workers to take a two-year wage freeze, pay more for their health benefits, and take nine days off without pay over two years;

Now this is a true progressive Party.

The Progressive Bull Moose Party Platform

Election Reform
Abolish Corporate Personhood.
End Partisan Gerrymandering
Repeal Citizens United and the McCutcheon Rulings.
Kill Super PACs & End Big Money in Politics.
Reform Campaign Finance Laws.
Allow Open Primaries.
Create a “None of the Above” Option in All Federal Elections

Feel Free to read the rest of there Platform

I am the voice of the people.

posted by: stevenbwinter on August 9, 2017  8:09pm

This is Steve Winter, who’s running for as independent in Ward 21. I did file a nominating petition with city clerk’s office this morning just before 10 am. Here’s a photo of the received petition:

If you’re interested in learning more about our campaign, please check out our website at

[Ed.: Fixed! Thank you.]

posted by: Ex-HVN on August 9, 2017  10:25pm

“She and Paca signed each other’s petitions to make the ballot. “I believe in democracy,” Paca said”

I haven’t lived and voted in New Haven since 1988, but I believe the more choices the better. In my youth I signed ballot petitions for the perennial Communist candidate Joelle Fishman, despite being a capitalist.

Years later I was being vetted for a position with the US Federal Government and was questioned ab out that signature…though McCartyism went out in the 1950s. I turned down the job

posted by: 1644 on August 9, 2017  10:53pm

There was a Robert Kiley, MD at Yale Med School, although he doesn’t seem to have any property on the Grand List, and isn’t on the current website as faculty.

posted by: slemender on August 10, 2017  9:46am

Catalbasoglu, congrats.. We firmly believe that you will make the great contribution to New Haven.

posted by: Lisa on August 10, 2017  4:32pm

I am very curious who this Robert Kiley is. Is he running as independent?  And so happy Marcus is on the ballot.

posted by: Anderson Scooper on August 10, 2017  6:06pm

Kiley is a serial candidate who ran in 2005 & 2007. He is running this time as an independent, and the NHI states that illegal immigration is one of his big issues.

In 2005 he lost to Bitsy by a vote that was something like 200-25, so it doesn’t look like he’s operating from any real base of support.

Search the NHI archived for a little more info. But it’s a near certainty that Abby Roth will be getting her old seat back. (which is awesome for New Haven.)

posted by: bewildered on August 12, 2017  9:18am

Marcus Paca as Mayor spells DISASTER.

posted by: bewildered on August 12, 2017  9:43am

How quickly people forget.  Paca was the king of nefarious MOUs that cost the City unnecessary money.  He is incompetent.  Please don’t be fooled by this man.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on August 12, 2017  11:49pm

posted by: bewildered on August 12, 2017 9:43am

How quickly people forget.  Paca was the king of nefarious MOUs that cost the City unnecessary money.  He is incompetent.  Please don’t be fooled by this man.

And how quickly people forget that part Chief Dean Esserman package was any lawsuits on him.The city will pick up the tab.

My bad how quickly people forget Nicole Jefferson.

posted by: pacmen14 on August 13, 2017  11:30am

Welcome to the message boards,  “bewildered” AKA VERY nervous Toni Harp supporter. Did you even read the link you posted?! Paca’s mentioned as a footnote and the “Kings” of the MOUs in question are clearly former Fire Chief Allyn Wright and current Chief Administrative Officer Michael Carter. Seems you would need to ask them, Garry Tinney et al if the MOUs were in fact “nefarious” since they were clearly the masterminds. PS an MOU is an agreement to modify pre-existing terms. Modification of terms costs money BY DEFINITION. The question is was the modification of terms worth the cost and only the department heads can answer that. Rather than launching these desperate attacks against Paca, give people a reason (at least one) to vote for Harp. My bad, that’s probably way too hard since she’s definitively the most incompetent mayor this city has EVER seen. There are far too many links to substantiate that to post them here! #paca2017

posted by: Patricia Kane on August 14, 2017  9:32am

The Green Party of New Haven just elected new officers and has been reaching out to disaffected Democrats, Working Families Party people, independents, Bernie supporters and other progressives to develop a strong local presence focused on local issues with the goal of running a full slate of candidates for office in 2 years.
        The public is desperate for an effective third party, but the system is rigged in favor of the status quo in favor of the 2 formerly major parties, both of which are losing registration nationally.
          The founders of the republic believed in a competition of ideas, but that has been overcome by a system of big bucks from private donors with their own agenda. A disappearing middle class, ruinous costs of college education, extreme wealth along side extreme poverty and the effects of climate change all require action.
          Sarah Ganong is a brilliant political organizer and Josh Elliott (D) from Hamden is a point of light in the State Legislature, but the WFP is a lobbying tool and not a party that tries to elect its own candidates.
          As a former Bernie organizer, I participated in a campaign that connected with people and was able to run on small donations. We will see if the GP in New Haven can generate that same support.
          GP Treasurer Corey Menafee’s participation demonstrates the diversity within the Green Party. Out reach in the Latino community is also underway.
          You can learn more by locating the Facebook page for Green Party of Greater New Haven.