Over 2,500 years ago, Athens prided itself on a system of government ruled not by the few, but by the people, the demos. American citizens continue that democratic tradition today in counties – the modern-day equivalent of the demos – across the nation as they step into voting booths to choose their next leaders.
In Ithaca, voters in each district will elect one of their two Common Council representatives and a county legislator. The county as a whole will also pick its next district attorney.
With incoming challenger Gwen Wilkinson (D) vying for the spot currently held by four-term incumbent George Dentes ’76 (R), it looks like this year’s D.A. race will be close. Dentes has greatly emphasized his 16 years of experience as D.A., while Wilkinson – who herself worked under Dentes as a prosecutor from 1991-1996 – has claimed that Dentes’ policies and implementations are in need of a change.
Although the races for the county legislature in both the third and fourth districts are uncontested on the ballot, Nitin Chadda ’07 has been running a write-in campaign against Nate Shinagawa ’05, who is seeking the fourth district legislature position on both the Democratic and Working Families party tickets.
The third and fourth districts include North Campus, West Campus and Collegetown.
Chadda originally registered to run on the Independence ticket, but his petition was challenged and overturned on the basis that the witness Chadda listed was not registered as a member of that party. He said his campaign has been focused on educating people on the workings of Tompkins County and the issues surrounding this year’s elections.
In the City of Ithaca’s fourth ward – which corresponds to Tompkins’ fourth district – David Gelinas ’07 is running unopposed to succeed Michael Taylor ’05 (D) as Common Council representative.
Voting booths will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8. On North Campus, booths will be in Robert Purcell Community Center, and on West Campus they will be in the Class of ’26 Hall. In Collegetown, fourth district residents can vote at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on Oak Avenue, and those in the third district can vote at the Belle Sherman Annex on Cornell Street.
Archived article by Yuval Shavit
Sun City Editor