NAUGATUCK — If voters choose candidates for public office based on where their names appear on the ballot, then Patrick J. Scully and Dorothy Hoff would have an edge in the burgess competition.
Scully is the first of six Democratic burgess candidates listed on the ballot in position 2A, right next to Democratic mayoral candidate N. Warren “Pete” Hess. And Hoff is the first of six Republican burgess candidates in position 2B; her name will be alongside whomever among the three Republican mayoral candidates wins the primary on Sept. 16.
The ballot positions were chosen at random during a drawing Sept. 1 in the Registrar of Voters office at Town Hall. Democrats are at the top of the ticket with Republicans on the second line.
Mayoral candidates are in the 1A and 1B positions, followed by six burgess candidates for each major party. In order, the Democratic burgesses are listed as such — Scully, Rocky Vitale, Kathleen L. Donovan, Robert J. Burns, Carl Herb and Laurie Taf Jackson.
The Republicans, in order, are Hoff, Robert A. Neth, Edward Fennell, Donald Wisniewski, Mike Stopa and Ray Fayad.
Third Party burgess candidate Emedio Cerasale will be on the third line underneath the Republicans.
The Board of Education candidates, in order, are Democrats Jason L. Celozzi, Ethel S. Grant, Jill M. Mahoney, David M. Heller and James M. Scully.
The Republican slate, in order of ballot appearance, are, Diana Malone, Dorothy Neth-Kunin, Eileen Lingl, Glen Conan and Scott Slauson.
Local politicos have mixed feelings about how much name placement matters.
Republican Registrar of Voters Matt Katra said he thinks every candidate has an equal chance, no matter where their name appears.
Republican Town Committee Chairwoman Kim Kiernan said she believes voters are smart enough to vote for a candidate based upon that candidate’s position on issues, not where their name appears.
“An educated voter would vote for candidates they feel are most closely aligned with their values,” she said.
Democratic Registrar of Voters Louise Sheedy said she does not believe name placement makes a big difference in the outcome of an election.
“I think to some people it does, but there are so many new names on the ballot this year that I don’t think it matters as much,” she said. “Way back, when the names went alphabetically, it mattered a little more.”
Democratic Town Committee Chairman M. Leonard Caine III said he believes most people know who they are voting for before they enter a polling station.
“They know the burgess candidates through family, friends, work or they vote for party,” he said. “I don’t think it has as much significance as it once did.”