“What a day it was. It was like the longest day”– The mayor’s Blue Suit talking with Josh Resnek
By JOSH RESNEK
Tuesday was primary day.
The mayor’s Blue Suit and I drove all around to the polling places, checked out the various headquarters, and tried to feel the karma of the day.
In some primary elections, you are able to feel the energy and the vibrancy of local politics.
Yesterday, we tried to feel the day for what it was. Right from the beginning, it was hard to do.
First of all, there didn’t seem to be much energy around the city except for the politicians and their supporters.
That makes sense.
At this time in our national history, politics and primaries aren’t exactly what they used to be.
Participation has plunged. Numbers of voters coming out have taken a dive.
Primaries, and even some elections, have become things unto themselves.
“What does that mean, Josh?” the Blue Suit asked me.
“People just don’t care as much anymore. That’s what it means. Vote totals are lower than expected or slightly higher but with very little variation,” I answered.
We were driving around the city going from polling place to polling place.
“You see all those people holding DeMaria signs?” the Blue Suit asked.
Yes. So what?” I replied.
“Well, most of them are not from Everett. They were brought in by the mayor to hold signs on streets corners.”
In Everett Square, Capone signs dominated. They were all held by Capone supporters from Everett in an obvious sign of how different a grassroots campaign can be from the mayor’s campaign – which relied on money and city employees to do the horrible tasks of holding signs, going door to door, making contributions and on and on.
At the moment we took off out of the square a truck with a big Gerly Adrien sign drove by.
That truck was sent on a trip all over the city by Adrien’s forces.
Capone’s headquarters in Sal Sacro’s building in Everett Square was crowded with people and brimming with activity.
The mayor’s headquarters on Main Street was more sparsely attended.
All three campaigns were busy with driving people to the polls.
Campaign workers we spoke with from all three mayoral camps told us this.
One thing seemed certain early on.
The vote was not going to be robust. The general feeling we got was that the vote would be smaller than projected.
We were wrong but questions remained.
“Who does a small vote favor. Who does a larger vote favor?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“I don’t think it favors any one candidate. In fact, it puts all three candidates at the same disadvantage. Or, if you want to be a contrarian, it favors all three candidates,” the Blue Suit answered.
“Touché, my friend. That was a great answer. So what do we know about the outcome of the mayor’s race at this moment?” I asked the Blue Suit.
The Blue Suit lit a Marlboro and took a deep inhale, letting it out slowly.
“We know absolutely nothing about then outcome right now,” he answered.
“Another great answer,” I said to him.
‘What do we know for sure about the mayor right now. What is he doing right now?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Wherever he is he’s biting his nails. He’s worried. I think he’s justified in being worried this time around,” the Blue Suit added.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“For 14 years he’s never had an ounce of uncertainty about being re-elected. This time is different. At least it feels different,” the Blue Suit said.
“How so?” I asked.
“In this campaign, everything the mayor has done he’s bought and paid for, or he’s used city employees or city resources. He got push back this time from a lot of people who were tired of his demands. Not many wishes to make twice-yearly donations to him anymore. Then came the Cornelio defection. I believe that really hurt the mayor. Sergio is a popular guy. Coercing Sergio to give him $96,000 from a real estate transaction the mayor had nothing to do with is a crime. Everyone knows this. I think this is going to make a difference on the final outcome,” the Blue Suit said.
We drove around and around looking for something, anything, to remind us that this was an election day of sorts.
Activity was sparse throughout the city.
In many respects, it seemed like just another day. “They’ll all be voting when they get back from work after 5:30 p.m.,” the Blue Suit added.
“Are you sure about that? Many people don’t go to the office anymore. “They remain at home working from home. I don’t think the big rush is going to happen. Oh yes, there will be a bit more voting activity but overall, this primary isn’t going to set any vote records,” I answered.
“How do you think the mayoral battle finishes in this primary?” I asked the Blue Suit.
“That’s a tough one,” he answered.
“I don’t really have a solid idea about the outcome. So many people I talk with have given me so many possibilities that I find myself completely befuddled,” the Blue Suit added.
“What do you think, Josh?” he asked me.
“Here’s what I’d like to happen. Mind you, I don’t know or even believe this is going to happen, but in a perfect world I’d have Capone and Adrien winning positions for the finale and the mayor boxed out.”
“You can’t really believe that Josh, can you?”
“Yes, I can. This was in a dream I had earlier this week. The dream seemed so real I felt like I could crawl from my bed into the dream. Carlo lost! Can you imagine” I asked the Blue Suit.
“Not really, Josh.”
“I can’t imagine Carlo losing. I can imagine him only coming in first with the second-place finisher about 250 votes away. If he gets 48% of the vote, he’s all set. If his vote total is less than that, he has a problem. If it is in the 44% – 46% range, he is finished for intents and purposes.”
I dropped the Blue Suit at the mansion on Abbott Street about 6:00 p.m. primary eve.
“It’s all over at about 8:30,” I said to the Blue Suit before he walked away from my Honda Fit.
“Let’s discuss it when you have the results,” he said to me. “Fair enough. I’ll give you a call,” I said.
At about 8 p.m. I entered city hall on primary night.
The rest, you can all read on the front page of this edition.