Maceo ​'Troy' Streater wins special election for New Haven's Ward 21 alder seat

Photo of Mark Zaretsky

NEW HAVEN —  Maceo ​“Troy" Streater defeated the Ward 21 Democratic Ward Committee's endorsed candidate and two other candidates to win a special election and replace former Alder Steven Winter on the Board of Alders.

Streater prevailed over Fred Christmas, the Democratic Ward Committee's endorsed candidate, Democrat Kendall Hurse and write-in candidate Anais Nuñez, drawing 125 votes to 64 for Christmas, 2 for Hurse and 2 for Nuñez.

"I'm delighted that I won," Streater said after the polls closed and the machine totals at King/Robinson Interdistrict Magnet School showed him with 68 votes to 57 for Christmas. The vast majority of the absentee ballots cast were for Streater, as well, said Head Moderator Kevin Arnold. 

"I'm up for the task and I thank everybody that helped me," said Streater, who was born and raised in Ward 21 and ran once before for alder and once for Ward Committee chair. 

"I look forward to serving the community," he said. "I'd like to thank everybody that voted for me — and even the ones who didn't. I'm an alder for everyone."

Winter, who resigned his Board of Alders seat to take a job as executive director of the city's new Office of Climate and Sustainability, was there Monday night to congratulate Streater.

Christmas, who was the only other candidate besides Streater who was still at the polls when they closed at 8 p.m., said, "I'm hoping that we can work together to make our ward better."

Christmas said he ran "because I know I can help this community."

He said in a text message Tuesday that "it was close and I am going to run again — and you can quote me on that. I will support him and anything he does, but I am going to run against him in November."

Ward 21 includes parts of the Dixwell, Newhallville and Prospect Hill section. Streater and Christmas, who live a few houses apart on Dixwell Avenue, each filed papers with the City Clerk's office on the same day in December.

Streater, a hobby photographer, works at the 180 Center warming shelter and owns a landscaping company. He said when he announced his candidacy that "there is room for improvement no matter what's going on in the area."

As an alder, "I would look forward to trying to keep taxes affordable," he said. "I think building up the community after COVID, trying to get things moving and flowing," are priorities.

Streater spent years in prison on a murder conviction for a 1990 homicide, maintaining his innocence. He later received a pardon and was released.

One reason for him running was "to show that society does give second chances," Streater said in December. "People unjustly incarcerated" can have a life beyond that, he said. "Society makes mistakes, but the mistake should not end you or your aspiration."

Christmas grew up in the old Elm Haven public housing complex, runs an asbestos mitigation company and draws inspiration from people such as late ward chair and community activist Mae Ola Riddick and late alder and City Clerk Stanley Rodgers, both of whom he grew up watching.

He also is involved in efforts such as Women of the Village, which operates a food pantry and distributes clothing to those in need. In addition, he works with Phil Bynum in Cool Breeze in the Parks, presenting community concerts.

mark.zaretsky@hearstmediact.com