By Josh Resnek
One of the mayor’s chief allies and staunchest supporters, has announced he is running against Councilor Mike McLaughlin.
Al Lattanzi, the well-known local businessman and owner of the True Value Hard Ware Supply on Main Street, is taking on McLaughlin.
He took out nomination papers Monday, according to information he filed in the Election Office at city hall.
Lattanzi has apparently been considering running for many years, according to those who know him.
“He is a good guy with a large following and a good reputation,” said an acquaintance.
“He will have 300 signatures in a matter of days,” he said. Lattanzi is also a very close friend and a trusted, highly valued associate of the mayor.
He is set to face McLaughlin – that is – if and when McLaughlin takes out his papers for re-election.
“I will run hard and I will run smart,” McLaughlin told the Leader Herald Tuesday morning.
“Everyone who knows me understands what I stand for, that this city and its people are my life,” he added.
Lattanzi said he is at a place in his life where all the stars have lined up and he is finally doing what he has wanted to do for many years, “to run for public office.”
Lattanzi questioned whether or not McLaughlin is running.
“Has he pulled his papers, yet?” he asked.
“No he hasn’t,” he added as an afterthought. “What is that all about?” he wondered. Whatever the reason for Lattanzi’s run – he will
face stiff opposition from McLaughlin. McLaughlin is likely stronger among some segment of the voters of Ward 6 because he has been standing up to the mayor.
Two months ago during a heated argument between the two about activities at the Wellness Center, the mayor lunged at McLaughlin trying to tear a paper out of his hand.
The bullying of McLaughlin, which preceded the lunge, caused several councilors to call for a return to decorum inside the chamber. This also caused a great deal of chatter among those who watch Everett Cable and who witnessed the mayor nearly attacking McLaughlin.
McLaughlin has been one of the consistent voices to challenge the mayor on a city council that capitulates to the mayor’s demand nearly every time.
McLaughlin and Lattanzi’s greatest challenge will be parking and traffic issues in Ward 6, if the casino opens – and it is going to open.
What day exactly remains in question as well as the ownership of the casino.
Traffic and parking are expected to be hotly debated questions if the casino hotel opening is a success.
Success will bring traffic and parking issues never experienced in the city’s history.
Lattanzi will be facing a much younger man at the top of his form, an incumbent.
However, with the aid of the mayor’s forces, and with a strong campaign of his own, Lattanzi presents a strong challenge to McLaughlin.
In the end, when all the votes are counted, this is a contest between two popular Everett residents.
The contest and its results will prove who is most popular and who is not.