Democrat aldermanic candidate Ruben Rodriguez, left, withdrew his name from the Democrat slate yesterday stating his ideas were being ignored by mayoral candidate Neil O’Leary. The O’Leary campaign had a different spin on Rodriguez’s departure. O’Leary was quoted in the Republican-American newspaper this morning saying that State Representative David Aldarondo, pictured above on the right, had engineered the defection after O’Leary had refused to put Aldarando’s friends and relatives on his campaign payroll. The following two press releases refer to the incident. Photographs by John Murray
Jarjura Campaign Statement….
Waterbury Needs Leadership, Not Excuses and Dictatorship
The decision of Democratic Aldermanic candidate Ruben Rodriguez to abandon the race Wednesday in the face of a lack of concern and respect from the head of the ticket toward the Hispanic community is further proof that Neil O’Leary is unfit to lead a city with Waterbury’s ethnic, religious and national diversity, said Mayor Mike Jarjura.
“It is important as Mayor to respect all ethnicities and cultures,” said Jarjura. “As the son of immigrants, I deeply appreciate that part of what makes Waterbury a great and interesting city is the contributions each of our cultures makes.”
More disturbing, but typical of O’Leary’s campaign, is that when confronted with the results of his heavy handed and authoritarian style, he chose to launch an ugly and unsubstantiated allegation of extortion against a sitting member of the General Assembly.
“Rep, David Aldarondo and I have not always seen eye to eye on issues,” said Jarjura. “However, he and I always have treated one another with courtesy and respect, putting aside our differences in order to work for the greater good of the city. What we’re hearing from the candidate today isn’t positive leadership, it’s scorched earth.”
O’Leary Campaign Response
It is ironic that Mike Jarjura, who has done so little for the Hispanic community during his ten years as Mayor, was so quick to issue a press release on the resignation of Ruben Rodriguez. How sad that he and his campaign have to resort to name calling whenever they are confronted with an unpleasant truth. The Jarjura administration has ignored the important issues facing minorities. His efforts to discredit Neil O’Leary have no substance.
“I stand by my record,” stated O’Leary. “I have always been inclusive of all minorities, and I have consistently promoted Hispanics to top positions. I have always encouraged everyone to work together for the common good.”
“Jarjura says he respects all ethnicities, but if a Spanish-speaking Waterbury taxpayer calls the Mayor’s Office, they are transferred to a different department, because Jarjura has not hired a single Spanish-speaking person for his office. After I am elected Mayor, there will be minorities working in meaningful positions in the Mayor’s Office.”