Primary Day in Everett
By Josh Resnek
A drive around the city on Primary Day 2019 was a drive around an empty space.
As at-large candidate Mike Marchese said early in the morning: “It looks like a ghost town.”
A ghost town indeed.
When I drove into Everett Square early this morning there were a handful of sign holders, chief among them former mayor, former city clerk, councilor at large John Hanlon, doing what he has done for a lifetime – and as his wife told me earlier on the telephone – “Loving it. It is his life.”
Councilor at large, former rep, Wayne Matewsky was also holding a sign in the square waving to the early morning primary day traffic.
A Steve Simonelli supporter carrying assign stood next to him also waving.
It was a stunning scene on a Tuesday morning with the sun shining brightly.
It had the appearance of just another day.
There was not very much political activity of visible kind showing as the city awakened to another day and passed through Everett Square.
But then, the day was all about eliminating one candidate from 11 potential candidates for the 5 at- large positions up for grabs.
For Gerly Adrien, it was a day to get out her vote all over the city.
For most candidates playing the Everett political game, this is something easier said than done.
Drawing a successful citywide vote implies having put your dues in and a good deal of name recognition which generally comes with that.
For Adrien, it was another day of working her demographic.
Again, on a day when more than 20,000 potential voters would likely choose not to cast a vote, getting one elected in small and competitive field of incumbents made Adrien’s job that much more difficult.
All the candidates understood that about 2,000 voters would cast a ballot for the at-large positions. They also understood that the potential ticket topper would have somewhere in the range of 800- 1,000 votes.
Those at the bottom of the vote pile would have 400-500 and the one sorry loser who is tossed from the pack – finisher number 11 – would have the smallest number of votes, probably 150 or less citywide.
At 1:30 pm, I met with Jason Marcus, running for ward councilor against Stephanie Martins.
It was an electric day for both candidates – and they paid close attention to their own campaigns while paying lip service to the primary.
“Very small vote for the primary,” Marcus told me. He was dressed in a jacket and tie and said he was going around the city putting up signs and knocking on doors.
Martins has done the same.
Martins has been knocking on the doors of super voters.
Marcus has been concentrating on a more general visitation of voters in all the wards.
Who knows which strategy is more perfect?
We will find this out in November.
Meanwhile, Councilor Mike McLaughlin and businessman and friend of the mayor Alfred Lattanzi continued their battle as though primary day did not exist.
Lattanzi is relying heavily on the mayor’s support – and the mayor’s backers believe to a person that McLaughlin cannot beat the concentrated power of Lattanzi’s money and the mayor’s long reach.
McLaughlin, on the other hand, has put his head down and taken his campaign to the people in a decidedly strong effort to touch as many hands and hearts as possible before election day.
“I am working hard to make my case to the voters of this great city which I love,” he told me after he had voted.
I stopped in at the Connolly Center about 1:30 pm.
Forty-four voters had cast ballots using the new and improved electronic voting machines placed all over the city in the precinct voting locations.
After that I grabbed some lunch at Common Ground, the fabulous Brazilian coffee house and café located next to Subway on the Parkway.
I ordered a vegetable wrap with mozzarella cheese. Absolutely outstanding treat.
There was not a hint of it being an election day/ primary day on the Parkway inside Common Ground. For that matter, the primary was one of the best kept secrets in Everett on Tuesday.