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Council hopefuls rely on ads, visits

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With just five days to Tuesday’s election, the four candidates for Watertown City Council are in the final stretch.

Between now and then, the four candidates — incumbents Jeffrey M. Smith and Teresa R. Macaluso and political newcomers Cody J. Horbacz and Stephen A. Jennings — said they plan to spend a lot of time getting their message out.

The three men will continue going door to door. All four candidates also have lined up a series of media interviews over the next several days, they said.

“I’m just sticking with my message,” said Mr. Smith, who’s been on the council for 12 years.

He said he still intends to talk about the city’s rosy financial picture, the completed work on infrastructure and the fact that he believes the city is headed in the right direction.

On Wednesday, Mr. Horbacz, 27, garnered the endorsement of former council candidate Jasmine W. Borreggine, who ran an unsuccessful campaign in September’s primary. They were 2004 Watertown High School classmates. In a press release announcing the endorsement, Mrs. Borreggine said they have known each other for 13 years.

“I feel confident that our city would be blessed to have him take on this leadership role,” she wrote. “Cody would bring a much needed fresh perspective.”

Previously, another unsuccessful primary candidate, Rodney J. LaFave, endorsed Mr. Jennings.

On Sunday, about 100 supporters joined Mr. Horbacz at a fundraiser and get-together for supporters at the Pewter Mug bar.

“It kicked off the last week of the election cycle,” Mr. Horbacz said.

Mr. Smith is the only one of the four who has television commercials, with about 120 that are airing before the election. Mr. Smith is joining Ms. Macaluso and Mr. Horbacz in doing radio advertising. The four candidates are doing other advertising.

Mr. Jennings and Mr. Horbacz use social media, as well. Mr. Jennings also plans to give out a special gift for trick-or-treaters tonight to mark his campaign, he said. So far, he has knocked on about 1,200 doors, concentrating on areas with past voters, he said.

“I’m getting a positive reaction,” he said, adding that his get-the-vote-out strategy will include phoning friends, neighbors and family members to remind them to vote.

While she does not like going door to door, Ms. Macaluso said, she plans to do some in the waning days of the campaign. She got her message out mostly by sending out mailers that laid out her accomplishments during her first four-year term and her plans for the future. She intends to continue talking to customers at her business, Brew Ha Ha, 468 Coffeen St.

Over the course of the campaign, Mr. Horbacz raised and spent the most money, as he took in about $2,500 and had $2,400 in expenditures. Ms. Macaluso and Mr. Smith did not do any fundraising and used their own money.

Ms. Macaluso spent about $1,400 and Mr. Smith about $1,200. The three filed financial disclosure forms with the state Board of Elections. Mr. Jennings did not, saying he was told he did not have to since he spent less than $500.

All four candidates are expected to attend a meet-the-candidates luncheon at noon today at the Italian-American Civic Association, Bellew Avenue, sponsored by the Women’s Council of Realtors.

The two candidates with the most votes will be elected to four-year terms on the council. Voters can vote for two candidates.

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