McGonagle v Marchese

The Only Political Race To Follow On Nov. 7

By Josh Resnek

The local rep race between incumbent Joe McGonagle and challenger Mike Marchese takes central stage as we approach election day.

It is the only contest between two well known local politicians, one, McGonagle, who is on a substantial winning streak, and the other, Marchese, who is trying to end McGonagle’s winning streak.

To this point in time, the campaign has been dominated by Marchese’s effort to power himself over McGonagle with his name recognition, his recent finish top ping the ticket on the city council where he is a councilor at large and with emphasizing with full page advertisements in the Leader Herald that he can’t be bought, doesn’t represent special interests and does not walk in a lock step with the mayor.

To date, McGonagle has not been highly visible.

He tends to do his business on the Hill, and to keep a low profile, which has been his recipe for success.

McGonagle signs are noted throughout the city, and it is expected his signage will be boosted in the next four weeks before the election.

Marchese has put up about 75 signs. He has been receiving calls for signs, he told the Leader Herald.

Neither McGonagle nor Marchese have been going door to door.

They have not asked one another to debate.

Although their campaigns are active, they are not hot, and the likelihood is this: in the two weeks before the election McGonagle will likely repeat his strategy in the primary – as it was successful – by sending out two or three citywide mailings and using another publication in town as his primary voicepiece and political ally.

This was successful strategy before the primary. Why shouldn’t McGonagle expect it to be successful strategy for the finale in November?

Marchese, on the other hand, is treating his effort to unseat McGonagle as though this is a city council race.

Why not?

Marchese topped the ticket last time out. He remains active and popular. His recent support for Pope John being used as a public school standing side by side with McGonagle’s silence on the citywide issue, is another reason Marchese is expecting to do well when all the votes are counted.

Then there are the numbers.

Marchese’s victorious vote citywide in his recent city council victory was much wider than McGonagle’s citywide vote totals in the primary by many hundreds of votes.

Some people say that is like comparing apples to oranges – and maybe it is – but it remains a significant matter for endless discussion about who can score more votes when it matters in November?

Marchese is running as an Independent.

Some observers claim democrats will not vote for an independent but this remains to be proven.

McGonagle remains impervious to Marchese’s challenge.

He goes about his business confidently.

He doesn’t get involved in messy political business like Pope John even though he should. He simply believes Marchese doesn’t have a chance.

Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.

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