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September 20, 2013

Devers on-again, off-again support for Rivera is on-again

Claimed pledge to back any Lantigua opponent in mayoral race was 'off the cuff'

LAWRENCE — A state representative and three-time failed candidate for mayor who is known for his hot-and-cold support of Mayor William Lantigua now is going hot and cold on Daniel Rivera, the city councilor who this week won a spot on the ballot against Lantigua in November.

Marcos Devers pledged at a Sept. 9 candidates debate that he would support anyone but Lantigua in November if Lantigua were on the ballot then, which he will be after finishing first by a sizable margin in Tuesday’s preliminary election. Rivera came in second and so also will be on the November ballot.

Devers began back-pedaling from his pledge within an hour after the results were announced Tuesday night, when he came in a distant third. He said the pledge was off the cuff and informal and needed “further analysis.”

The analysis appeared to end yesterday when the Rivera campaign announced Devers would be joining the three other also-rans in the preliminary election at a press conference tonight, when they “will publicly announce their support for Rivera and their commitment to defeating incumbent Mayor William Lantigua in the November election.”

Contacted to confirm his support for Rivera, Devers would not. He said he was not aware that Rivera was publicly claiming his support but said he would be meeting with him later in the day to negotiate an endorsement.

“Let me sit down with these people, my friends,” Devers said about Rivera and his campaign staff an hour or so after Rivera issued the statement claiming Devers’ endorsement. “I didn’t know a press release went out. We’re planning to have a meeting and make an agreement. That’s it.”

Pressed about what he might ask for from Rivera in exchange for his support, Devers said, “I don’t have anything in mind. The first thing we want is better government. We want something better for the city.”

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