By Josh Resnek
Running at large for the Everett City Council is not an easy task.
It is certainly not an easy task for a first timer throwing their hat into the political frying pan here.
Running for a ward seat is much easier.
Running for political office above all is a popularity game and a numbers game as well.
If you run a ward campaign in a smaller ward, you don’t need to identify as many voters as you do if you are running at large.
An at large run requires name recognition big time.
In other words, if you haven’t made the rounds in the this city over a great deal of time over and over for many years and you are one of the seven non-incumbents seeking an at large seat, you have your work cut out for yourself.
It is about more than just getting around.
It is about having political charisma.
You have to have personal popularity among people in every ward.
It also helps if you are friendly with the ward councilors as they can tend to help out if they so desire.
With the news last week that Councilor at Large Richard Dell Isola is calling it quits, one out of five seats is now open.
This means that the seven newcomers running for an at large seat are in competition with six other candidates for the single open seat.
If you are one of the seven running, those are very bad odds indeed.
Councilor at large incumbents like John Hanlon, Mike Marchese, Stephanie Smith and Irene Cardillo are going to be hard to beat. Incumbents have the big advantage.
Also, they don’t have to work as hard.
This doesn’t mean incumbents can’t be beat. However, looking over the field, Smith will be a hard act to follow as a newcomer.
She’s made an impression on voters. She’s a highly vocal, interesting newer member of the councilor at large club.
Even Cardillo has some cache with voters across the city.
She came out of nowhere last time around and got swept into office. A rare occurrence indeed.
Cardillo’s incumbency make her hard to beat.
As for Hanlon and Marchese, they are in a class of their own with the present lineup.
Marchese topped the ticket last time out.
Hanlon hasn’t lost an election as councilor at large.
At 88, he remains a political power because of his name recognition and personal popularity.
Angelmarie DeNunzio, Katy Rogers, Shaskia Bosquet, Kisan Upadhaya, Guerline Alcy, Jean Marc Daniel, and Joseph Pierotti, Jr. all have a big mountain to climb to capture the open seat.
Alcy could surprise the field with a strong finish.
She is experienced. She will campaign. She is well known in the large and politically active Haitian community. She almost won the last time out when she ran.
Rogers is an interesting candidate.
She has been a very public person and figure at city council meetings for the past two years. She is a well known photographer who has photographed thousands of local people. In other words, people know her or recognize her name.
She could do well – but only if she campaigns hard and smart until election day.
DiNunzio has a following but is it citywide?
Upadhaya has said he will be campaigning daily and reaching out to voters.
This could help him immensely to be in the mix of those who might win a seat.
Pierotti knows a lot of people but he’ll really have to campaign hard.
Bosquet and Daniel need to expand their name recognition.
Bottom line — not much is going to change in the at-large lineup if all things are equal unless all the competitors rise to the occasion.