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Model Candidate’s Novel Approach Fails In Election

January 15, 1986

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) _ A school board candidate won national publicity for a campaign ad that posed her in a strapless evening gown and peering coyly at the camera, but she didn’t win the election.

Evelyn Arroyo, a 21-year-old former model and beauty queen, lost by a wide margin Tuesday despite her novel strategy, but said the attention may lead to something beyond the Hoboken Board of Education.

″The first thing I would like to do is model. If there are any openings in jobs as an actress, who knows?″ she said, after taking only 407 votes for the newly created two-year seat.

According to complete but unofficial returns, she received less than one- fourth the total of winner Eugene Drayton, a police officer with 1,923 votes, and runner-up Lourdes Arroyo, who had 1,696 votes. The Arroyos are not related.

Ms. Arroyo, a day-care center worker, said the $300 advertisement that ran last week in the Hudson Reporter, a free, weekly newspaper, was her idea. ″I wanted to get people’s attention,″ she said.

She said the response included calls from reporters and others as far away as Ohio, Puerto Rico, Virginia and Florida. ″Some people said it was a good idea,″ she said. ″Others have criticized me for posing that way.″

″She’s got a million dollars worth of publicity for a little election,″ said Charlie Roberts, a Hoboken restaurateur and campaign worker. ″Trouble is, it’s all around the world, but not in Hoboken.″

The 1982 Miss Puerto Rican New Jersey, Ms. Arroyo attended Jersey City State College for two years and studied special education and child care at Hudson Community College.

Establishing a day-care center for single parents, working to lower the city’s dropout rate and improving bilingual education were some of her campaign issues.

Before the polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Ms. Arroyo said that if she lost she would continue to help the Hudson County Democratic Committee, of which she is a member, and volunteer at area hospitals and day-care centers.

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