By Josh Resnek
The councilor at large race with 11 candidates for 5 seats is arguably the most important developing political situation of the coming municipal election.
The Ward 6 race also tops the chart for importance for it links incumbent Mike McLaughlin and businessman Al Lattanzi in a political battle between two men who like one another.
Lattanzi is his own man. He is running, in part, to punish McLaughlin for questioning the mayor’s policies and especially the debacle at the Wellness Center.
What’s more, Lattanzi has the chance of winning.
Longtime political buffs believe McLaughlin has enough energy and friends to carry his seat, again. Some say he will send Lattanzi back to his Main Street hardware and supply business. Everything is being set up for this race to be a battle.
Lattanzi is well to do. Money is no object. His campaign will be well financed.
He is a tough candidate because he’s a smart guy. McLaughlin has many friends and contributors.
He can match whatever Lattanzi throws at him. The big question is this: who will campaign more vigorously?
Whose message will resonate with voters? Who is most popular – the much younger McLaughlin who has achieved great success and notoriety for himself against strong odds, overcoming difficulties or Lattanzi?
This is a real contest to watch and to enjoy watching.
The at-large race is obviously a complex deal with 11 candidates ostensibly running for 5 seats. If you give seats to Mike Marchese, Wayne Matewsky, and John Hanlon, who would appear to have their seats locked, the race is between the spate of newcomers versus the likes of incumbents Peter Napolitano, Richard Dell Isolla and Peter Simonelli, who is running at large after giving up his ward 2 seat.
Simonelli is not running as an incumbent at-large councilor but he has a wide following, and a large family. The mayor believes he is useless. He will do nothing for him.
Dell Isolla is one of the mayor’s soldiers. The mayor will give him support.
He won by a handful of votes – something like six votes separated him and Napolitano.
Napolitano won’t have the mayor’s support. He’d like to see him out of the arena.
Fewer questions to answer.
The mayor’s interest in the at-large is paramount. The mayor needs to control the council in order to manipulate it.
James Lavecchio, a newcomer, is off and running with his signatures certified.
In the battle for the bottom of the candidates list exists the possibility of changing the political world.
The newcomers have their work cut out for themselves unless this proves to be a year of change – and this remains unknown right now, of course.
Ward 2 features longtime city hall presence Jason Marcus and Stephanie Martins who has run for public office here before.
Martins is much more organized and well known than we started out a few years back. She offers up quite a contrast to Marcus.
She is Harvard educated and supported by the new wave of Everett residents who are becoming organized and who want in at city hall.
Marcus is popular. He has been on and off the council for years. He remains one of the best known and durable political figures in the changing city.
Does Martins have it to beat Marcus?
She’s going to have to work real hard. Beating Marcus is not something easily accomplished.
Ward 4 Councilor Leo McKinnon has a young opponent, the local real estate broker, Jimmy Tri Le.
McKinnon will be hard to beat. He does his job. He’s always around. People tend to like him. He remains his own man.
Le works locally for EXP Realty.
Rosa DiFlorio, a ward 5 favorite, is facing Vivian Thuc Mguyen.
DiFLorio is another politician who will be hard to beat.
As the only woman on the city council, she has earned her place among her colleagues. She tends to be with the mayor every time but she has a great deal of common sense and the independence of thought to use it.
Councilor Fred Capone is running unopposed in Ward 1.
There is some talk the mayor will put someone into that race to get rid of Capone.
Capone is a nuisance to the mayor. He doesn’t like Capone at all. Capone challenges his leadership. The mayor hates that. He dislikes Capone intensely because Capone is educated and independent. He is hoping Capone loses. Without a candidate to oppose Capone, yet, that isn’t going to happen.