MERIDEN — Area 1 City Council candidate Joseph Luca has withdrawn his name from the ballot with less than a month to go before the November election.
Luca, a member of the We the People Party who was cross-endorsed by the Republican Party, submitted a letter announcing his withdrawal from the council race with the City Clerk’s office. Luca cited medical concerns as his reason for withdrawing. He was opposing Democratic incumbent Miguel Castro.
Though she said she was disappointed Luca had to drop out, We the People Chairwoman Lois DeMayo said his spot on the ballot has already been filled. We the People has endorsed local business owner Lynn Ryder. The Republican Party’s executive committee scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday night to discuss the vacancy, Republican Town Chairman Dan Brunet said.
“We will be bringing her in,” Brunet said. “She is seeking a dual endorsement.”
Brunet explained that the executive board of the Republican Town Committee is responsible for endorsing replacement candidates. Not familiar with Ryder and wanting to meet with her, Brunet said he could not comment further Tuesday, prior to the meeting.
Luca and Ryder could not be reached for comment, Tuesday.
Ryder, along with husband Jay Ryder, owns Ryder’s on Main, a cafe on West Main Street. This would mark her first run for a seat on the City Council.
Luca, a Marine Corps veteran, had never run for a seat on the council before. He is the second Republican-endorsed candidate to drop out of the council race after Democrat-turned-Republican John Thorp bowed out last month after learning he was in need of knee surgery.
City Clerk Irene Masse said that because some election ballots have already been printed, they will need to be reprinted in the precincts that make up Area 1. Those who receive the incorrect absentee ballots will receive a letter about the new candidate, Masse said. Masse added that she will be waiting to see what happens with the Republican meeting before ordering new ballots.
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