The rumored war going on in the back of the fourth ward turns out not to have been a rumor after all. The battle of VBMs as it turns out was almost even at election's end. In unofficial tallies, the VBM totals are released with the votes on the machines.
Here's how the out of proportion fourth ward broke down its 397 Vote by Mail ballots.
Raia Mason Ticket: (Occhipinti) 176
Assemblyman Ruben Ramos: 171
Mayor Dawn Zimmer: 44
If you're asking which one of these figures doesn't fit, it's the mayor's organic figure of 44.
Between the Old Guard camps, we have what appears to have been a Mexican standoff.
The War of the Roses Paper Ballots were not the only contested Old Guard issue.
Reports of paid votes and outright coercion in the HHA where people were manhandled and told they "had to vote for Ramos" are coming in and not very pretty.
There were at least two fights and one person interrupted someone coming out saw men with "hands on the voter," but stopped when they were seen.
Adding to the Raia-Mason camp woes, questions are being asked why they did not have challengers in the fourth ward? Poll workers were acting inappropriately and challengers would have stopped some of the reported bad behavior in the 4-3 and 4-4 right away.
All of it appears to have worked to Ruben Ramos' home court advantage. Although Ramos lost on the machines he edged out the mayor by 126 votes with Vote by Mail added.
Non-certified Fourth Ward Vote:
Ruben Ramos: 994
Dawn Zimmer: 868
Addendum: The bad blood between the Old Guard camps is not over, not by a long shot. The long knives are already out and being sharpened for Timmy Occhipinti. No one is afraid of the Mason's family money either. The wolf is most certainly at the door and hungry.
Talking Ed Note: Ramos campaigner Nick Calicchio attended the City Council meeting last night and indicated he had plans to go out for the evening after the election and did not carry his legal firearm. He admitted he had gone to the Raia-Mason HQ and voiced his displeasure after the election concluded saying it was inappropriate to do so sooner.