Many people have asked me to pursue a ballot recount and it was given serious consideration. 200 votes are not much of a difference in a final tally of nearly 7300 votes, however, it is an extremely unlikely number to make up in a recount process. After consultation with several election law attorneys and the elections division of the Secretary of State, I feel it would be irresponsible to ask the taxpayers to bear the expense of a recount process that will not yield the desired result.
That said, there were other issues and concerns that came to light regarding election day. Although a recount procedure will not address these matters, in furtherance of our campaign for honest, transparent government I will share them with you.
People who work for the city or have contractual relationships with the city, and their relatives, that do not actually live in Everett were allowed to vote in Everett because they were on the registered voter list. The Secretary of State’s office maintains that a challenge had to be issued before the vote. Additionally, as it is impossible to prove with 100% certainty who they voted for, it is beyond the reach of a recount. Others openly stated that they lived elsewhere but wanted to vote and were allowed to do so because they were on the voter list. It is impossible to determine who they voted for and as a result those votes are also beyond the reach of a recount. To those involved, this is voter fraud- a serious offense that could result in criminal charges. I do not intend to pursue that course of action, but others may. It is strongly suggested that everyone involved correct their voting status before the next election cycle as it may be more aggressively addressed at that time.
Our mayor’s conduct on election day is another cause for concern. He spent an excessive amount of time in multiple polling locations greeting voters and election workers in violation of election laws and protocol. As a candidate, and as his opponent, I informed him that he was violating election procedure at the Glendale Towers. An election commissioner ultimately advised him that his conduct was a violation. Thereafter, with full knowledge that he could not enter polling locations or stand beyond the marked lines, our mayor continued to do so at other voting locations throughout the city. Many votes may have been influenced by this improper conduct, but will not be able to be quantified by a recount.
Some may say “a win is a win,” but this narrow victory is clearly tarnished. On a final note, our mayor, in his remarks on election night to a crowd, stated that he intends to hurt people. An elected official who states he wants to hurt people is not a leader; he is a bully. A marginal victory should be cause for reflection, rather than contempt that the number should have been bigger.
Now more than ever, it is paramount that we stay alert and keep our elected officials accountable. If anyone experiences retaliation for supporting my campaign, I want to know about it and I will be there for you.
On a more positive note, again, I want to thank everyone for their support and confidence. So many wonderful people volunteered with our campaign for a Better Everett. Many of our volunteers were new to politics and some were longtime supporters from my first Common Council campaign 32 years ago! Overall, running for mayor was an extremely positive experience and working with our dedicated volunteers was the best part!
Our team ran the campaign Honestly, Openly and on a Budget – much like I have always conducted myself in government. We went up against an entrenched incumbent with a massive campaign account – he spent in excess of $345,000 dollars, compared to our $55,000! He pulled in union endorsements, the support of some local state elected officials, a large in place group of campaign workers via city employees, businesses, developers, a local newspaper, and the Teamsters – and yet there was only a 210-vote difference!
It is pretty extraordinary that residents, many who had never met before, came together to create such a formidable team. Many friendships were forged along the way and although we were working toward a serious goal, we always had fun and enjoyed one another’s company. Michele and I will be forever grateful for your kindness and we want you to know just how much each of you means to us.
Special thank you to Brian Lombardo, our campaign manager, and his entire family for their superhuman efforts. Brian did an incredible job and helped us run a top-notch campaign on a limited budget. We are proud that our campaign manager was an Everett resident from Ward One, was one of our past academic scholarship recipients, and graduated from Boston University with a communications degree! You have to love an Everett kid who grew up in his grandparents’ home, attended Everett public schools, and whose family has been actively involved in the community for decades. You will never meet a nicer family than the Lombardos! They are loving, organized, bring cookies, and show up every step of the way. Our entire campaign was about Everett people supporting Everett people!
I would especially like to thank my family for all their love and support not only during this mayoral campaign, but every day. We have been in campaign mode since the end of April and have worked nonstop ever since! To my amazing wife and best friend, Michele, thank you for always believing in me and being there with unconditional love and support. You are the ultimate teammate!
The election numbers demonstrate that Everett is indeed ready for change and our campaign helped bring to light many concerns and issues. Public service is so important. I am proud to have served our great City on the Common Council for 10 years and the new City Council for the past 8 years. Rest assured that the Capone family’s contributions to Everett politics are not done.