McLaughlin off and running
By Josh Resnek
Councilor Mike Mclaughlin is officially a candidate for state rep from Everett after pulling papers Tuesday. With great fanfare and high hopes, he is making the effort to rise to the next level of the political playing field.
He preceded his methodical quest to line up all his ducks before jumping into the political frying pan by hosting a series of campaign events over the weekend with supporters and contributors, readying himself for the big push which has begun in earnest.
Saturday, he met with about 50 supporters at Anna’s Pizza on Main Street.
Considering how distant the election seems today, the large and enthusiastic gathering was all the more noteworthy.
Made up entirely of Everett residents and voters, everyone there committed themselves to a McLaughlin campaign and a McLaughlin victory.
McLaughlin is facing incumbent Representative Joe McGonagle.
Others may be planning to run against McGonagle but over the weekend, McLaughlin exulted in being the first to announce, the first to plan, and the first to challenge McGonagle in what might well prove to be the fight of his political life.
“At Anna’s the crowd’s interest in my candidacy spurned me onward. These were all friends and supporters urging me on, pledging their loyalty to me, and promising to work hard and smart to get me to the state house,” McLaughlin told the Leader Herald.
Over the next five days, McLaughlin has planned four senior parties, again, which is part of his strategy to unite seniors behind him.
“Seniors have supported me for years,” he said. “Seniors form an important and influential part of my election effort. And they all vote!” he added.
“The city’s seniors know I have their backs. I am about more than giving speeches and distributing press releases,” he said.
Calling this run “a lifelong dream,” McLaughlin described himself to voters as “someone who can be relied upon.”
McLaughlin recently defeated the mayor’s choice for council, local businessman Al Lattanzi.
In his press release announcing his candidacy, McLaughlin didn’t reference Lattanzi or the mayor by name.
He told the Leader Herald this: “Even in the face of unrelenting pressure from others…I was able to get my message across to voters throughout the city. I am so grateful for this.”
McLaughlin will be taking his candidacy door to door throughout the city leaving no voter unvisited.
He expects to criss-cross the city two or three times before the election.
All eyes in this city’s political world are now on the September Democratic Primary.
The primary is scheduled to be held September 1.
In the 2018 primary, McGonagle was faced by Gerly Adrien, now a city councilor at large.
McGonagle got 1968 votes – 42% of the vote.
Adrien received 1800 votes or 39% of the vote.
Former Representative Stat Smith got 893 votes or 19% of the vote. Adrien beat McGonagle in seven out of 12 precincts.
Exactly how the primary in September will play out is anyone’s guess. Right now, McLaughlin is traveling down a road of his own with no impediments along the way so far.
He knows the mayor and others will be against him in this race. But just as the mayor’s support for Lattanzi didn’t matter in the recent council race, it is likely the mayor’s support for McGonagle likely won’t matter in the rep race.
All political races are idiosyncratic – that is to say – every race is something of its own.
In a topsy turvy political world where nothing seems to matter as much today as it did a few years ago, one thing has not changed. What is that?
If you want to win an election, you’ve got to work hard and smart, every day, all day in one way or another. Each moment for a politician is an opportunity to gather more steam and force for his or her campaign.
Can McLaughlin out campaign McGonagle?
If the past is a roadmap for the future, it can be assumed that McLaughlin will outhustle the rep.
He wants the position more than the rep.
He can taste it.
He is around the city more than the rep. People like him and believe in him.
He has a strong following.
With this type of force building and pushing him forward to a destiny he could never have dreamt of when he was a kid growing up here, McLaughlin may just get what he wants.
We shall find out soon enough.