(Updated with final results) Edgewood voters might have thought they kicked Alderman Marcus Paca out of office in the Democratic primary—but they found him back at the polls again, asking again for their vote.
Paca is the outgoing alderman in Edgewood’s Ward 24; union-backed challenger Evette Hamilton beat him by 312 to 228 votes in the September primary. Unlike his colleague in West Rock, Paca didn’t opt to secure a spot on the general election ballot as a petitioning candidate.
The ballot for Tuesday’s election had only one name for Ward 24 alderman—Evette Hamilton.
That didn’t stop Paca from standing at the polls Tuesday in a suit, shaking hands with supporters. Two red Paca signs were stuck in the tree belt besides Hamilton’s.
One voter approached him around 3 p.m.
“I’m supposed to do a write-in?” she asked.
Paca said yes.
He didn’t tell her that her vote won’t count—but it won’t. Paca is not an official write-in candidate. To become an official write-in candidate, one had to submit a request to the secretary of the state’s office by Oct. 25. Only two candidates in New Haven did that—Robert Lee and Roger Uihlein, who are both seeking the mayor’s seat—according to Av Harris, spokesman for the secretary of the state.
“They can write him in, but it won’t count,” Harris said.
Paca later clarified that he tried to get approved as a write-in candidate, but the application “didn’t get there on time.” He said he’s continuing his quest anyway, to give Edgewood voters a way to show their support.
“People were upset when they found out that I lost,” Paca said. “A lot of people were saying they want to see me stick around in that position.”
Paca said he believes he should give voters an alternative because his opponent lacks “experience.” He exuded bitterness over his defeat: “They bought the election,” he said, referring to the union money that fueled union-backed candidates’ campaigns.
Across the driveway, Hamilton (pictured) frowned on Paca’s Election Day surprise.
“He’s misleading folks,” she said. “Just be truthful.”
She suggested defeated candidates unite with successful ones to “work with the community.”
Meanwhile, voter Cory Potts shook Paca’s hand and pledged his support at the polls.
Paca told him that if he’s not successful Tuesday (which, according to the state, will certainly be the case), there’s always another election to look forward to—the Democratic ward co-chair elections in March.
Hamilton ended up getting 353 votes.
A total of 480 people cast votes for mayor on the machines, meaning at least 127 people may have written in a vote for Paca—but none of them counted.
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posted by: anon on November 8, 2011 6:33pm
More community involvement is a good thing. Paca should run again in 2 years.
posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 8, 2011 6:44pm
No lost he was a puppet for King John.
posted by: junebugjune on November 8, 2011 6:49pm
I thought Paca’s behavior after losing the primary was immature and bitter, but he’s really outdone himself this time. Misleading voters on election day is outrageous and pointless. He failed to get a write in petition in on time. Thats on him. As a registered voter in your ward, I might have one day been convinced to vote for you, but this irresponsibility and lack of maturity and grace has turned me off the idea for good. Stick to your day job,Paca. Congratulations to Ms. Hamilton. She earned that seat.
posted by: Anderson Scooper on November 8, 2011 7:10pm
Once the unions opened the flood-gates for November electoral re-matches, I just can’t understand why the Mayor’s team didn’t get everyone to file as independents, and thereby punt these contests back to now.
I mean wouldn’t the unaffiliated and Republican voters, who couldn’t vote in Septenber, have broken for the Mayor’s slate against the fear a union-controlled BoA will raise property taxes even higher?
... Move on Paca…Just be a gentleman a go home,you lost,...
posted by: robn on November 8, 2011 7:37pm
Isn’t the state limiting a write in option unconstitutional because it ignores voter intent?
posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on November 9, 2011 12:00am
Paca Won’t Go Gently Into The Night! “People were upset when they found out that I lost,” Paca said. “A lot of people were saying they want to see me stick around in that position.”
Perhaps it’s true that people may have been upset with your defeat Mr. Paca. However, the problem is sir, not enough of them feel and felt that way. Handle your defeat with dignity and understand that you too had no experience when you were elected.
The idea that you are now compelled to berate the sister who defeated you, shows just how small you really are.
You voted for everything the Mayor wanted while an Alderman, so let’s if he’ll throw you a bone for the obedient behavior on your part.
posted by: FRATERNAL AGENDA LOL! on November 9, 2011 10:39am
OK—So WHAT kind of handshake is that???? Also—- Check out the Goldson Handshake “Bare Knuckles & A 50-Buck “Joke”
These pictures are great!!! Someone should collect all the special handshakes in politics (both local and national), and try and analyze what each one really is. Of course, some of you well know what they mean.
National politicians know enough to ATTEMPT to conceal the symbols of their ACTUAL allegiance, but local fraternity buddies cant help show their true allegiance.
posted by: ms sassy on November 9, 2011 1:58pm
I have voted for many, many years but this time I didn’t because no one deserved my vote. I’m a registered Democrat, but thinking about turning to Republican. Both parties are liars, in my opinion.
posted by: THREEFIFTHS on November 9, 2011 6:10pm
posted by: ms sassy on November 9, 2011 12:58pm
posted by: ms sassy on November 9, 2011 12:58pm I have voted for many, many years but this time I didn’t because no one deserved my vote. I’m a registered Democrat, but thinking about turning to Republican. Both parties are liars, in my opinion.
If both parties are liars,They why join them.
posted by: cedarhillresident on November 9, 2011 8:27pm