By Josh Resnek
By mid-week, the city’s Election Office had registered an early election season that is the rough equivalent of a baseball game with no hits, no runs and no errors.
With one exception, Steve Simonelli’s switch from ward councilor to a candidacy for a city council at large seat, the Election office registered very few new candidates across the board for election in the coming municipal contest.
Even longtime elected public officials by and large did not take their papers out by Tuesday afternoon.
In the days and weeks to come, residents can expect all the incumbents to pull their papers and get out there collecting signatures.
“This is my first Everett City Election. I didn’t know what to expect,” said Linda -Lee Angiolillo, the Executive Director of the Election Commission.
A review of election papers taken out on Monday and Tuesday so far shows 6 candidates for councillor at large, two candidates for the Ward 2 seat, the incumbent in Ward 3, the incumbent in ward 4, and the incumbent in Ward 5.
For the School Committee two incumbent at large candidates took out papers, a newcomer in Ward 1, the incumbent in Ward 3 and the incumbent in Ward 5.
Simonelli’s switch to councilor at large candidate is big news in local political circles where such a radical move has set off speculation.
Simonelli has a strong following in Ward 2, a large family, loyal supporters and a solid base. Some years back he defeated former Councilor Jason Marcus, himself quite popular, by 900 votes.
Last time out, Simonelli beat Stephanie Martins, a bright, young, attractive, assertive educated new Everett voice by 350 votes.
Simonelli’s foray into the at large domain creates deep disturbances for current City Council President Richard Dell Isola, and for Councilor at Large Peter Napolitano.
Dell Isola won his last election by 6 votes, and Napolitano’s finish near to Dell Isola was almost that close. As fourth and fifth at large finishers, they are going to feel some heat and flash from Simonelli’s challenge. Neither Dell Isola nor Napolitano have taken out their election papers – which in reality are re-election papers.
Some say the mayor will put his support to Dell Isola at Napolitano’s expense.
Others claim the mayor will entirely ignore Simonelli and is not want to get involved in other people’ campaigns if possible.
That being the case, it is unlikely the mayor would leave Dell Isola, who acts as a good soldier for the mayor heading up the council.
Turns out, a local expert claimed, that the at large race will be for the fourth or fifth seat with Simonelli, Dell Isola and Napolitano fighting it out for those slots.
Of course this precludes other newcomers entering the enter large contest or other longtime members declining to run.
The Ward 2 race will prove to be close, some say, or not close at all.
Marcus is a known quantity. At this point, Martins is, too.
The Martins base is not as large as the Marcus base has often shown itself to be, but everything is changing in this ward where Martins is recognized as the next generation – and that this could be her moment.
This race will be a real battle if Marcus gets into it and brings out the demographic of the old order which is so strong an element here.
Marcus campaigns fiercely.
On the other hand, Martins, Harvard educated, ambitious, backed by a conglomerate of new local forces that have organized is a star on the rise – and she is a woman with a strong voice in Everett which remains a man’s world when it comes to local politics.
This is to her advantage in the current political atmosphere.
Councilors at large Wayne Matewsky and John Hanlon took out their papers.
Newcomer Renee Solano took out her papers.
A candidate many times, Leo Barrett is going out to get his name on the ballot and there is a newcomer, James Lavecchio of Oliver Street.
Three well known and popular incumbents, Anthony DiPierro in Ward 3, John Leo McKinnon in Ward 4 and Rosa DeFlorio in Ward 5 pulled their papers.
At the School Committee not much is new under the sun except for the candidacy of Edward Ruiz in Ward 1. Mr. Ruiz is a teacher who is well known in his neighborhood and highly respected.
In the at large race only Bernie D’Onofrio and Millie Cardello have taken out their papers.
Francis Parker took out his nomination papers in Ward 3, Marconi Alemida Barros did the same in Ward 5.