|John Halle, a
professor at Yale University, won a seat on the New Haven
Board of Alderman.
By Angela Carter, New Haven Register Staff July
NEW HAVEN — John
Halle pulled off an upset in the 9th Ward Tuesday when he
became the first member of the Green Party to win a seat on the
Board of Aldermen.
Halle, 41, will finish the
term of Democrat Gerald Garcia, who resigned to take a job in New
York. Many thought Halle didn't stand a chance in a ward dominated
by 1,082 registered Democrats to 32 voters classified as other, a
category that includes Green Party members.
"This is a very unusual thing," Halle said, shouting over
victory party cheers at his home. "I think it might be an
indication of things to come."
Halle claimed 202 votes while Democrat Alexander Marathas got 149
and GOP candidate Bill Lattanzi trailed with 133. Democratic
Registrar Sharon Ferrucci said the count included absentee ballots.
Marathas and Lattanzi could not be reached for comment.
Halle, an assistant professor in Yale University's Department of
Music, said Green Party members were energized by Ralph Nader's
presidential campaign and more than 300 people were working at the
polls last November.
"We were able to draw on some of those people to win this
election," Halle said. "Neighbors in New Haven need their
own voice. The view of New Haven is almost like a third-world
country. It's a a place to get in and out of as quickly as possible.
?Voters are taking control."
Julio Gonzalez, campaign manager for Mayor John DeStefano Jr., was
not pleased with the special election results.
"It demonstrates a lack of leadership in the Democratic Party.
Hopefully, it's something that will be ameliorated soon."
DeStefano likely will face a primary challenge in September from
state Sen. Martin Looney, D-New Haven.
Ted LeVasseur, campaign manager for Joel Schiavone, DeStefano's
Republican opponent, echoed Halle saying residents are calling for
"Voters are tired of the machine politics," LeVasseur
said. "I think it's obvious that New Haven voters are ready for
some extreme changes."
LeVasseur said that even though Lattanzi didn't win, the election
outcome still brings encouragement to Schiavone's camp.
But Halle's may also have a message for Republicans.
"More people will be running for aldermen. The Green Party may
become the second party alternative in New Haven," Halle said.
Another vacancy in the East Shore's 18th Ward will be filled by
Arlene DePino, wife of Chris DePino, the Republican Party's state
chairman. GOP Alderman Justin Gargiulo Jr. resigned from his first
term because he moved out of the ward.
©New Haven Register 2001