Ben Parker/Sun Senior Editor

Ithacans cast their last votes for Common Council representatives on Tuesday night.

November 4, 2021

New Faces Slated to Join Ithaca Common Council and Tompkins County Legislature

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As Ithacans cast their last votes for Common Council representatives on Tuesday night, they decided a new slate of local officials — including two Cornell students. 

The current vote counts only include early voting and Election Day voting; mail-in ballots have yet to be added to the voting results as of Wednesday night.

Ithaca is divided into five wards. Each ward has two representatives, making up 10 Common Council seats, all of which were up for election this year. Four of the five previous representatives chose to not run, making Cythnia Brock (D-1st Ward) the only incumbent.

In the First Ward, Brock is defending her seat against Maddie Halpert, the Solidarity Slate representative that replaced Shaniya Foster on the ballot when Foster dropped out for personal reasons in June. Brock is ahead, receiving 487 votes — with Halpert receiving 187 and Foster with 31. There were two write-in votes.

In the Second Ward, Phoebe Brown, another Solidarity Slate candidate, pulls ahead with 532 votes. Rick Murray, part of the Rick Murray Party, sits in second with 225 votes. 

In the Third Ward, Jeffrey Barken, the Democratic nominee, ran as the sole candidate, receiving 292 regular votes and six write-in votes.

In the Fourth Ward, which makes up part of West Campus and Collegetown, Solidarity State candidate George DeFendini ’21 is ahead with 72 votes. Alejandro Santana, an independent, follows with 30 votes. DeFendini will likely join fellow Cornell student Patrick Mehler ’23 as Fourth Ward representative. The Fourth Ward saw one write-in vote.

In the Fifth Ward, Robert Cantelmo grad, a fourth-year doctoral candidate in Cornell’s government department, ran unopposed, receiving 502 votes. The district received four write-in votes.

Along with Common Council, all 14 districts in Tompkins County held their elections. In Tompkins County, districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 represent the City of Ithaca on the Tompkins County Legislature. Districts 7, 11 and 12 represent the Town of Ithaca.

In District 1, Travis Brooks, the Democratic nominee, is ahead with 980 votes, compared to Republican Christoper Hyer Jr.’s 74 votes. There were six write-in votes. 

In District 2, Democrat Veronica Pillar ran as the sole candidate, receiving 497 votes. Pillar previously ran in the special election to fill the position after Assemblymember Anna Kelles (D-125th district) vacated the seat but lost to Leslie Schill MRP ’02 in April. However, Pillar beat Schill in the Democratic primary that occurred in July. There were 16 write-in votes.

In districts 3, 4 and 5, incumbent Democratic representatives Henry Granison, Rich John and Anne Koreman all ran unopposed — receiving 591, 198 and 1,086 votes with 17, one and 14 write-in votes, respectively.

The districts that represent the Town of Ithaca saw a similar story. In districts 7, 11 and 12, the incumbent Democratic representatives Daniel Klein, Shawna Black and Amanda Champion all ran unopposed — receiving 1141, 867 and 525 votes, with 16, four and one write-in votes respectively.

The incoming Tompkins County Legislature members will serve a four-year term before they are up for reelection. The Common Council members will serve a two-year term because of redistricting.

Correction, Nov. 4, 12:14 p.m.: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Common Council members will serve a four-year term. This post has since been updated.