He was unsuccessful in his first two attempts at public office, but Paul J. Franco’s dream job has finally opened up.
In an interview on Aug, 25, Franco said, “I’ve always wanted to be [the District 5 city councilor]. This job is like being the neighborhood’s councilor. And when this job opened up, I thought to myself, ‘Here’s my chance to actually be the neighborhood councilor.”
In 2010, Franco first ran for State Representative of the 13th Worcester District — a race he lost to State Rep. John Mahoney (D). In 2014, he fell about 9,000 votes short in a loss to Senator Harriette Chandler in the First Worcester District race for state senate.
But now, Franco feels his time has finally come to hold office and wants to make sure that his neighbors in District 5 are taken care of.
“The theme of our campaign is: neighborhoods first,” Franco said. “The city has done a very good job downtown, but what about neighborhoods like in District 5. The points we are raising are: making sure that the designs for the new high schools at South and Doherty will be designed to stand for a good 50 to 75 years, and to spearhead development at vacant properties across the district.”
Franco, 59, was born in Worcester and and lives at 57 Olean St. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in journalism and earned his law degree from Western New England College. He is a trial attorney with the Law Offices of Joseph J. Cariglia in Worcester.
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, Franco will run in the District 5 preliminary election against three other candidates – Matthew E. Wally, Douglas F. Arbetter, and Benjamin D. Champagne – and will need to be one of the top two vote-getters from that group to advance to November’s municipal election.
“Because of my experience as an attorney, as a retired military JAG officer, and as someone that’s been involved in the community and lived in the district for 27 years, I feel as if I’m in the best position to understand the needs of the district and to handle them,” Franco said.
“It’s also nice to have someone that actually advocates for the district. When I say I want to be the neighborhood councilor, it means that I want to advocate for these constituents,” he added.
Due to his senior status at his law firm, Franco said that he will have enough time and freedom to respond to his constituents’ calls, emails and concerns.
“I’ve reached a stage of my profession where I have the flexibility to work with both my constituents and clients each day,” Franco said.
According to Franco, beyond his family, friends and neighbors, his biggest supporters are the people in the district that have invited him in to talk, hear his plans, and listened to what he’s had to say.
“The biggest supporters are the people in the district. In the past two months, I’ve knocked on over 2,000 doors. A lot of these people actually want to stop and talk with you. I look at this way, I don’t need endorsements by any group in particular. I just need people to go out and vote,” Franco said.
If elected, in his first term Franco would like see the city beautified by providing the city’s residents with recycling bins with covers on them.
“When it comes to recycling , if you drive through all the suburbs and towns, their residents all have bins with tops on them. I think that’s something we can implement right away and make an immediate impact on keeping ‘Beautiful District 5’ beautiful,” Franco said.
When asked if he’s done enough to finally put him in his “dream job,” Franco said, “I’ve done all I can do to bring myself to the attention of my neighbors and friends in the district. I’ve been attending meetings and going to door to door. All you can do is put yourself out there and focus on those voters that are going to come out. You have to know who you need to talk to get the vote out.”
He added, “If I get elected and you have a problem, you can come to me. You don’t have to make a donation, you don’t have to swear allegiance to any particular party or cause. You live in the district and if you have an issue, my job is to fix it. And that’s what I plan to do.”
For more information on Paul Franco, please visit his website: votepaulfranco.com.