The contenders are set for the November 5th Fall River Mayoral Race.
Incumbent Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II will square off against the leading vote-getter in the city’s preliminary race Tuesday - School Committee Member Paul Coogan.
Coogan, who lost narrowly to Correia in March’s Recall Race, amassed 62% of the total 13,310 votes. He won at every precinct in the city with 8,273 votes in total.
Speaking to his supporters at Scottie’s Pub Tuesday night, Coogan is already looking forward to the stretch ahead leading to November 5th.
“Tomorrow, we start a very tough campaign for the final election in November,” he said. “We are not going to change I need you and I humbly ask each of you to stay with me in the weeks ahead. We have work to do!”
Coogan went on to claim that Fall River is need of a leader they can trust.
“People rightfully deserve and demand better leadership, honesty and more openness from their mayor,” he said. “They deserve someone who is not in it for the power or the money but that they’re in it because they’re just like you and guess what? We have had enough in this city.”
The current Mayor finished second out of the three contenders securing 2,777 votes.
Mayor Correia understands why some people have changed their vote since the recall election back in March.
“They’re scared of the unknown,” he claimed to a crowd of supporters at LePage’s Seafood in Westport. “They’ve been intimidated and have been told false information. I understand where they're at in their hearts and minds. They don't know what the future holds for Jasiel Correia. I can understand how that can be a scary thing 11 days after the situation that occured happened."
Correia knows he has quite the task ahead of him in the next less-than-seven weeks.
"We've got from now until November 5th to ask those voters who changed their vote to change it back to Jasiel Correia,” he exclaimed. “We have from now until November 5th to go to each and every debate, as many debates as there can be, to challenge Mr. Coogan on what his plan truly is because when he says he wants to take the city back he can only mean one direction - backwards."
The incumbent mayor says that he’ll allow any voter to ask whatever they want to know and he will give a straight answer.
"I'm going to shake your hand,” he said. “I'm going to look you in the eyes and allow you to ask me any question you want about anything you want. I'm going to tell you the truth. I'm going to give you the honest answers you deserve, you expect and have gotten every single day from this mayor."
Paul Coogan spoke of Fall River’s “forgotten people” following the news of last night’s victory at Scottie’s.
"Fall River's forgotten people - to the thousands of senior citizens who spent their lives working and building our city, you're important. Police, fire, EMTs - every day they go out and risk their lives for us, you're important. The parents who want nothing more than good schools and safe streets - you're important."
Coogan said he knows Fall River.
"I love this city and its people,” he said. “I understand them, I respect them and I share their values. I'll continue to do that. I said at the start that this city is about the people in it. I owe the people of Fall River a tremendous debt tonight."
The third contender from Tuesday’s preliminary was community activist Erica Scott-Pacheco. She rounded out the final spot falling just short of a historic upset over the incumbent securing just over 2,100 votes.
"I personally knocked on over 3400 doors,” she told WSAR Tuesday night following the results. “My team knocked on over 10,000 doors. I want to thank each and every person that we had a conversation with and listened to their concerns. In many ways, I'm just like you. I come from a working-class family. Everything I have and attained in life is through hard work."
The general election will be on Tuesday November 5 and feature this race as well as who will take the nine city council spots and six school committee seats.