September 26, 2001

Local Primaries Finally Held; Voting Was Postponed Due to Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks

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Due to the tragedies across the country on September 11th, the Tompkins County primaries, originally scheduled for that day were postponed and finally held yesterday.

In primaries within the city of Ithaca: David Whitmore ’96 won the primary ballot for the Democrat and Green party nomination of City Alderman for Ward 2, and Kathy Luz Herrera won the Democratic primary for the Tompkins County Representative for District 5.

City Aldermen make up the Ithaca Common Council, which consists of two city Aldermen from each of the City of Ithaca’s five wards.

As a first time candidate for elected municipal government, Whitmore said he sees himself as the much needed source of “fresh energy” for a city that needs “a more transparent [representation] that will be open with constituents [and] stay closely connected to the community.”

“There is a population of people in Ithaca,” said Whitmore, a registered Democrat, explaining why he ran under two parties., “not just Greens, whose beliefs are reflected in the Green party.”

In the November election Whitmore’s name will appear on the Democratic and Green party ballots but votes from both lines will enter one tally.

According to David Whitmore ’96, the winner of both the Democrat and Green party primaries, there were no Republican candidates running for Alderman of Ward 2. There is, however, an Independent challenger.

The Tompkins County Board of Representatives controls county-wide public transportation, including the TCAT bus service, in addition to matters of public health and safety.

No Republican primary took place for District 5 of Tompkins County either, as no Republicans are running unopposed within the party.

According to current District 5 representative Nancy Schuler, prevalent issues in this year’s election include the county budget — especially because of the widespread impact of the recent tragedies of Sept. 11 — as well as public health and women’s services.

Other primaries that took place yesterday included the Democratic primary for the Ithaca Town Board, which oversees the Town of Ithaca, a donut-shaped geographic region that surrounds the City of Ithaca. The Town Board works with the Ithaca Common Council — their municipal equivalent in the City of Ithaca — as well as the Tompkins County Board of Representatives to satisfy matters of public interest.

The three winners of yesterday’s Democratic primary are Will Burbank, Carolyn Grigorov and William Lesser.

William Burbank, the only non-incumbent running in the Ithaca Town Board election, drew the most votes in the Democratic primary.

“People would like to see more diverse representation in the government,” said Burbank, who represents the western area of the Town of Ithaca, while the three incumbents who ran all live in the southern part of town.

Archived article by Alison Thomas