Coming Down to the Wire
By Josh Resnek
Two weeks to go before the big finale – Election Day.
The political hustle intensifies, like a pot boiling with water all the political energy is now turning to steam as last ditch efforts come to the fore.
In the most highly contested election bid by first timer businessman Al Lattanzi and his friend the mayor, efforts to defeat incumbent Councilor at Large Mike McLaughlin have reached a frenzy of sorts.
Lattanzi is showing a growing sense of desperation charging McLaughlin with the destruction of his political signs last week.
The charges grew out of questionable assertions made about events that happened last July that were reported by another publication last week.
For his part, McLaughlin hasn’t so much as said a negative word about his opponent and has taken the high road during the campaign from its start.
McLaughlin has taken his campaign to the people with an exhaustive parade up and down nearly every street to almost every home and voter in the city during the past six months.
Lattanzi is using money and influence to counter McLaughlin’s grass roots campaigning.
It is expected Lattanzi will be doing two to three citywide mailings during the next two weeks, something likely ordered up by his friend the mayor.
The mailings are useful but do not replace good old fashioned door to door campaigning.
This remains a city where people need to meet you and to shake your hand before they will vote for you – and even then – they have to like you or to be attracted to you to give you a vote on Election Day.
McLaughlin is far better known and recognizable to the voter demographic here than Lattanzi.
McLaughlin has a prominent public persona and has been highlighted on Everett Cable for years.
Lattanzi views his strength as a longtime businessman.
But there is a flaw in that thinking.
McLaughlin isn’t always asking his voters and supporters to pay him for doing business with him.
McLaughlin voters naturally stream to him because he has the Everett chemistry of a winning politician.
Whether or not that remains to be seen in the upcoming election is up for grabs.
This much we know, a citywide election effort for a first timer like Lattanzi is made more difficult by his lack of citywide recognition among voters.
Whether or not the mayor’s support will translate into a Lattanzi win is also up for grabs.
Lattanzi has not an ounce of independence. He is married to the mayor’s wishes and will do his bidding if elected.
McLaughlin will remain his own man.
Does this mean anything to the voters of Everett?
We will shortly find out.
Parker versus Santacroce Newcomer Robert Santacroce has been running a vigorous campaign to unseat longtime school committeeman Frank Parker.
Santacroce’s advertising has been plentiful and strong, and his campaigning is matching the weight and effort in the advertising department.
Can Santacroce unseat Parker?
That is something easier said than done, we believe.
But it is altogether possible.
For his part, Parker is running his typical low key re-election effort, which may be a mistake when facing a candidate for the first time who is eager to defeat him and who is putting his money and time where his mouth is to achieve that end.
Does anyone really care who is on the school committee?
We think so.
Parker has always been a somewhat unto himself Maverick on the school committee.
He does his own thing. He appears calm, informed and respectable. Many people however have the feeling that Parker thinks he is above the fray, better than others, so to speak.
This is hurting Parker, this and the lack of a strong effort to get himself re-elected.
Very often, elections are won by the parties who want the position more than their opponents.
Santacroce is pulling out all the stops.
Parker is business as usual.
Nguyen versus DiFlorio Vivian Nguyen is another newcomer trying to unseat an old-timer incumbent councilor supported by the mayor, Rosa DiFlorio.
Di Florio is doing her regular thing.
Nguyen has turned up the heat in her campaign and her mother is a whirlwind for her daughter which appears to be making a difference. Nguyen signs have popped up all over the city making DiFlorio just a bit uncomfortable.
It is very hard to defeat an entrenched incumbent who is nearly always a vote for the mayor.
But this may be a seminal year for candidates of race and color as
well as when it comes to younger versus older.
What does this mean?
It means that a slate of candidates of race and color and widely varying ages are running this year unlike years before and they have a better chance this year than ever before.
“Times are a changing” the great musician Bob Dylan once wrote in a song that captured the interest of the world many many years ago.
We will find out just how much the changing times have to do with Everett in two weeks.
At Large up for grabs Wayne Matewsky is the most likely political veteran to have the greatest success in this election cycle.
He topped the primary ticket.
He should top the Election finale.
Of everyone running, Matewsky is the seasoned old Everett pro. He works at it every day.
He should reap the benefits of truly caring.
The At-Large race is all about numbers and two or three candidates who are all closely connected by their last time out vote totals as well as their positions after the primary this year.
The At-Large race is highlighted by the possible election to the council of Gerly Adrien, which would prove that Everett is changing big time. She is a young, educated woman of color and ethnicity, working the new Everett demographic, and making a good impression wherever she appears.
Many, many observers believe she is going to score a seat.
This means someone is going to lose a seat.
Peter Napolitano is coming on strong in recent weeks. He, too, knows what he’s doing and has been around a long, long time.
Also, some of the so-called lesser candidate like Kay Hicks might do much better than expected.
At At-Large race has the potential of being the most highly contested with the greatest surprises when all is said and done.