Now that he is officially a candidate in the special election to fill the vacant Ward 3 seat on the New Bedford City Council, Jacob Ventura has provided WBSM with proof of residency in the city.

Ventura sent out a press release Wednesday afternoon in response to Jack Spillane’s column at the New Bedford Light regarding questions about whether he is a New Bedford resident, and also referenced Spillane’s weekly appearance on WBSM’s The Tim Weisberg Show in which it was also discussed.

You can hear the conversation with Spillane here:

Ventura is vying with six other candidates for the seat vacated by recently-resigned Ward 3 Councilor Hugh Dunn, who formally stepped down at midnight on December 3.

There had been questions regarding Ventura’s residency in New Bedford, but he said he moved to New Bedford from Dartmouth in mid-September, and told Spillane he registered to vote in the city on November 28, and took out papers to run for the Ward 3 seat on November 29.

The "carpetbagger" question also arose when Ventura appeared on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight to announce he was mulling a run for Ward 3, and as Spillane's article pointed out, other candidates in the Ward 3 race were suggesting the same. It has also come up among the WBSM callers.

Similar residency questions arose when Dunn ran for the Ward 3 seat, also in a special election, in 2017.

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Ventura's release stated that the Committee to Elect Jacob Ventura was “releasing the following proof of residency document detailing Mr. Ventura’s current residence and registered voting address in Ward 3 of New Bedford, Massachusetts.”

The release included a letter signed by Nicole Stewart, property manager for The Lofts at Wamsutta Place, stating that Ventura is “a current resident” of the property at 24 Logan Street, Unit N-526. The letter is dated December 2, 2022.

Courtesy Jacob Ventura
Courtesy Jacob Ventura

Ventura clarified to WBSM that he was “added as an occupant until the waitlist resolves itself,” as Spillane reported that Ventura is rooming with Christopher Sheldon, a fellow Republican who has also run for office, while waiting for an apartment to open up in the complex.

He said he is formally listed as an occupant on the lease for Sheldon’s apartment.

Ventura will face off against the six other candidates in the preliminary election on January 24, and then the top two vote-getters will square off in the special election on February 28.

Also running for the seat is former Ward 3 Councilor Kathy Dehner, along with Robert Cabral, Shawn Oliver, Robert Bromley, John F. Robinson and Carmen Amaral.

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