Fall River mayoral candidates debate ahead of preliminary election
By: Brittany Comak
FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) - Fall River voters have an important decision to make coming up in less than two weeks in the preliminary election for mayor.
This follows the re-call, and subsequent re-election of current mayor Jasiel Correia II earlier this year.
The three candidates on the ballot for the preliminary election September 17, are Paul Coogan, Erica Scott-Pacheco, and the incumbent Jasiel Correia II.
Coogan came out swinging.
"With your votes I will end revenge politics, the slick answers, the disrespect for the truth, and both the runaway ego, and the one–man rule that controls his city – 'Jaiselville,'" Coogan said in his opening statement.
Coogan referring there to the allegation that Correia defrauded investors in his startup company, SNOOWL.
Correia is set to go to trial early next year on charges of fraud.
Both candidates also needled Correia on his 'street scapes' plan, which aims to makeover certain streets in Fall River.
"Street scapes is a total boondoggle and a failed example of economic development for the some, and not for the all," said Scott-Pacheco.
Correia defended the plan, saying he doesn't understand the harm in beautifying the streets.
He also insinuated at one point that Coogan helped to get many of his own family members jobs in the city.
"Here's a chart of the 13 family members that he has working for the city. That's cronyism at its finest."
Coogan told ABC 6 after the debate that he wasn't even sure who some of the people on that list were.
Most of the sparring during the debate was between the two male candidates. At the end of the debate, Correia even suggested that he would like to work with Scott-Pacheco on her vision for the city.
On social media, where the debate was broadcast, many applauded the mayor. One person even called him a crook, but added that he was much more prepared than his opponents.
The top two candidates will square off in the general election in November.