The most closely watched mayoral race in the Nutmeg State ended with a climax worthy of a political thriller by Allen Drury or Fletcher Knebel.
In its first election after the end of five years under a state oversight board, Waterbury, Conn., elected two-term incumbent Michael Jarjura as a write-in candidate. The results of what could well be the first-ever election of a big-city mayor by write-ins in Connecticut history were made even more dramatic by the fact that Jarjura had lost the Democratic primary earlier this year to Karen Mulcahy, whom he had fired as tax collector on grounds that she was rude to taxpayers.
Mulcahy retaliated with a lawsuit, but later settled for an undisclosed sum paid by a private contractor that had assumed Waterbury’s tax liens. Mulcahy later used the money to fund her winning primary race against arch-foe Jarjura.
Beaten but not discouraged, Jarjura launched a write-in campaign to retain his job. In the process, he not only faced Mulcahy, but also a past Democratic primary foe now the candidate of the Independent Party, a Republican, and two others.
Jarjura finally topped the field of six candidates with 38% of the vote—all of them write-ins.
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