WORCESTER – In what has already been a very peculiar election season to date, it took another twist on Thursday evening.
In a press release sent Thursday, City Councilor-at-Large Michael T. Gaffney blasted a mailing that was sent out to Worcester voters from the Worcester Democratic City Committee.
In the release, Gaffney argued that the mailer is claiming that he, and his wife Coreen – who is on the ballot as a candidate for District 4 City Council – endorsed candidates in the upcoming City Council election.
The most shocking portion of the release, however, was the Gaffneys announcement that they would indeed hold office if elected on Tuesday in Worcester’s municipal election.
“Be advised, should the good people of Worcester choose to elect either of us, we will serve out our term to the best of our ability as we refuse to let this crew of despicable liars engage in this type of behavior,“ Gaffney said in a release.
Gaffney told ThisWeekinWorcester.com on Thursday evening that he will not take a salary or benefits.
“I will not be able to attend the majority of meetings, but will attend budget and tax rate classification,” Gaffney added.
The mailer, which arrived at homes on Thursday showed the quote that the Gaffney’s stated in their Oct. 16 press release in which they withdrew from the election.
“A mailer was sent out today on behalf of Joe Petty, Moe Bergman, Khystian King, Ben Straight, Kate Toomey, Sean Rose, Candy Mero-Carlson, George Russell, Sarai Rivera, and Matt Wally by the Worcester Democratic City Committee that claims that Coreen and I endorsed them,” Gaffney said in the press release.
“This is a disgusting lie being perpetrated against the voters of Worcester and a new low by those involved.” The statement continued “We have not endorsed any of the involved perpetrators. Their reprehensible behavior as to fake an endorsement speaks to a complete lack of moral character.”
Worcester Democratic City Committee Chairwoman Candy Mero-Carlson said the mailer was not a Gaffney endorsement, rather than highlighting that the Gaffney’s had in fact withdrawn from the race and used their quote from the October 16 statement.
“This is something we generally do. We send out to all registered Democrats the candidates we endorse,”Mero-Carlson said in a phone interview on Thursday night. “I don’t agree with his analogy. We clearly identified their quote from their statement.”
“What does that mean?” Mero-Carlson said about the possibility of the Gaffney’s serving the term if elected. “You’re either in or you’re out.”
The topic of the Gaffney’s has consumed this election cycle since their announcement of withdrawal. There has been speculation for weeks that the Gaffney’s had been running a “stealth” campaign and really never had any intention of withdrawing because their names are still on the ballot.
Gaffney fueled that speculation more with his statement about remaining in office if elected.
The Municipal Election is Tuesday, Nov. 7.