Almeida Elected to Board of Selectmen

He says voters were looking for somebody fresh and independent.

Nelson Almeida was elected Monday to the Seekonk Board of Selectmen. He received the most votes in the special election, defeating opponents Paul Buckley and Jeffrey Starr Mararian.

Almeida received 639 votes, 32 more than Buckley earned. There were 14 write-in votes. It has not been determined how many of those were for write-in candidate Mararian.

He will serve the remainder of former Selectman Bill Rice's term, which expires in April 2014. Rice resigned without explanation in June.

"I accomplished my campaign message, which was 'building relationships,'" said Almeida, during his victory party at Luxury Box Sports Bar and Grille. "What I did was I rode my bike and I covered about 70 percent of Seekonk in shorts and a T-shirt, just showing our community that I am part of the community, I don't want to stick out, and I am here to work for you and be your independent voice on the board."

Almeida, 35, was not known in local political circles prior to this year. He ran in the regular election in April, placing third of five in the race for two selectmen seats, a performance that impressed many political observers.

He said the campaign in this special election was a challenge because Buckley had the support of three sitting selectmen—Francis Cavaco, Bob McLintock and Gary Sagar. McLintock made a financial contribution to Buckley's campaign and Sagar wrote a letter endorsing him. However, Cavaco never made a statement or took an action in public in favor of either candidate.

"Essentially, I was running a race against four opponents," Almeida said. "Winning by 32 [votes], that isn't a large number, but what I went through was a huge accomplishment."

Almeida added, "We have a lot of residents that are sick and tired of what's happening on the board and they want to see somebody new on the board. Those who voted for me wanted somebody new, fresh—an independent voice."

Speaking at Seekonk High School shortly after the results were released, Buckley congratulated Almeida on the win and said he was pleased with the voter turnout of 13.41 percent, a significantly higher percentage than most political observers predicted.

"People said it was going to be a low turnout, but it was a good turnout," said Buckley, a 47-year-old Seekonk native. "[Almeida] worked hard, I worked hard. But turnout is what it's all about, and he obviously was the better candidate and worked hard for it and got the result."

When asked about what might have hurt his campaign, Buckley said he wasn't able to do as much campaigning in the south end of town. While Buckley defeated Almeida by a large margin in the north end (167-118) and a slim margin in the library area (204-195), Almeida had big wins in the south precincts (162-124 and 164-112).

"I wanted to get to the south end more, but I was busy with my job," Buckley said. "I had a campaign plan. I stuck with the plan. We'll see where it goes from there."

As for whether he'll run again in the next selectmen election in April when one seat (Cavaco's) will be contested, Buckley said he hasn't thought that far ahead. Mararian said he would be running, and possibly as a regular candidate rather than as a write-in. For now, Buckley said he would concentrate on his term as a member of the Board of Assessors.

"Maybe, this was a way of the voters telling me, 'Paul, you're doing a great job on the Board of Assessors. Stay there.'"

Votes by Precint

Candidates Precinct 1 Precinct 2 Precinct 3  Precinct 4 Total Nelson Almeida 118 195 162 164 639 Paul Buckley 167 204 124 112 607 Write-Ins 3 6 3 2 14

Martha Rice Sanders September 25, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Woo hoo! I am so happy for Seekonk!
Joe September 25, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Thank the Lord things are starting to look up for the town
Wendy Wagner September 25, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Congratulations, Nelson!
deb of see-attleboro September 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Congratulations, Nelson. I didn't vote for you. But I did predict you would win. As much as people complain about negative campaigns, the votes always tell a different story.
Karen O'Connell September 25, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Is that the Jeff Starr who used to be on WARA?
Carol Bragg September 25, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Congratulations, Nelson. Above all, remember to treat our town employees with respect and to listen to everyone in the community. People are sick and tired of the verbal abuse, the angry outbursts and the arrogance of power. I voted for our town employees. Help them succeed; don't flog or humiliate them.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 03:00 AM
I have deleted a post. Let's be careful with word choice. Curse words and code words for curse words will not be tolerated. Please show some maturity when posting.
Paul Buckley September 25, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I congratulate Mr. Alemeida on a campaign that brought out a big turnout. We both worked hard but he was able to get the vote out. The people spoke and I respect that. I look forward to Mr. Almeida being a contributor to our town and I wish him the best! Paul
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Thank you for your comment, Paul. That is a classy move.
Lori M September 25, 2012 at 03:37 AM
YES! voted for you (again) and this time YOU WON! Thumbs Up as I drove by you today at the polls!
Paul Lasiewski September 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Congratulations Nelson, it is time for some young blood on the BOA!
Emcee of Seekonk September 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM
What a surprise !! I thought Nelson would make a good show, but didn't think he'd win. He was a good candidate who got out the vote. This will indeed be a change for Seekonk. Glad to see it and my best to Nelson going forward. As for Paul, he should really consider running in April. There is a certain momentum out there for him that he can take advantage of. It's worth another try. After all, this was a very narrow defeat.
paul September 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Agree with Emcee. Only six weeks till we vote for Joe Kennedy!
Emcee of Seekonk September 25, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Sean BIELAT and Scott BROWN for 2012 !!!
Paul Lasiewski September 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM
I don't think so.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Please, let's keep the discussion in this thread to the selectmen election. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss other races elsewhere on this site.
deb of see-attleboro September 25, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Jonathan: A look at the vote by precinct might be revealing. With such a narrow margin of victory, a candidates own "neighborhood" can make all the difference. In a town the size of Seekonk, one gated community can reinvent the entire town.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Hi Deb: A mention of the votes by precinct can be found in the body of the article. I have also added a chart following your request.
Amy September 25, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Nelson, I didn't vote for you but I do wish you the best. I agree with a former post that it's time for some new ideas in this town. Good luck and remember it wasn't a landslide so please listen to everyone's point of view.
deb of see-attleboro September 25, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Thank you. I should have read the entire article. The chart is appreciated.
Joe September 25, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Perhaps the voters may be sending a message to the present board? Several of the present board members were backing Mr. Buckley but it did not seem to help. Congratulations Mr. Almeida I am sure you will do what you think, and feel, is best for the town and the residents of Seekonk.
positive thinking September 25, 2012 at 01:54 PM
An independent voice? Really that's why he teamed up with David Saad and the call firefighters, should be interesting what his first move will be.
Dave Abbott September 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Both candidates had elements of the usual local political groups backing them, Mr. Buckley had the more current group, Mr. Almeida had the one on the outs. It remains to be seen if we gained a truly independent voice in this election, but I am willing to give Nelson the benefit of the doubt. Being independent is the relatively easy part, it is working with the rest of the BOS to better Seekonk that will be the real challenge and I wish him the best of luck.
Joe September 25, 2012 at 03:53 PM
What call firefighters?? I thought the town voted to get rid of them a couple of months ago.
Allison September 25, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I wonder if Nelson will use his cell phone ear piece during the selectmen meetings. He will get good advice from Dave on how to vote like Dave gets from his wife on his cell phone. Good Luck Nelson. Really Good Luck.
Jeffrey Starr Mararian September 26, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Yes Karen.........it's Jeffrey Starr from WARA radio during the days of Dave Kane and real talk radio. God Bless.
baitcutter02 September 29, 2012 at 04:13 PM
only lived in town two years but watching the meetings every week Mr. Parker has gotton two or three calls and each one was to correct something he said on the air -- guess your not watching the same show-- he was also smart to not back anyone in this race as he has to work with however wins-- too bad the other two didnt think it out now Mr Nelson starts out knowing two of them didnt want to work with him!!
baitcutter02 September 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
not so--according to the election inApril the oldest got the most votes -- sometimes expierence is an advantage--town I came from no one would walk in to a selectmens job-- you had to learn the process first by serving on other boards-- no wonder we seem to question everything they do


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