There are now ten councilor at large candidates.
The candidates are: Council President Tim Phelan, Councillors Daniel Cahill, Paul Crowley, and Stephen Duffy and there are the challengers, Gordon “Buzzy” Barton, George Meimeteas, Calvin Anderson, Miguel Funez, Hong Net and Robert Clay Walsh.
If all things are equal, Phelan tops the ticket as he’s done consistently for the past three elections.
Phelan is likely the next mayoral candidate barring unforeseen circumstances.
Who comes in second is a bit of guess.
My guess is that Buzzy Barton gets the second spot. After all, he’s got a lot of friends, a huge family, the backing and friendship of the mayor (which may not count for much) and above all, he is uniformly well-liked by everyone he meets.
He is a shoo-in and he’s been running a campaign for a while.
He finishes in the money even if he doesn’t finish second.
Cahill is young and strong. He likes the whole Lynn political scene and he, too, has his family behind him and many young friends in the city. He is on his way up. He’s a lawyer. He has many attributes and he plays well on cable television where he so often likes to comment.
Crowley is in the Cahill pack. He rode into office with a huge vote and in the past two elections his support has eroded a bit – but he remains strong, from a well-known, hardworking family, and Crowley has many, many friends who will give him a vote. He’s a good guy and a family man – and who among us hasn’t bowled at the alleys on the Lynnway?
Duffy is the guy who gets on the board and then gets dropped from the board. He has been the perennial weaker link on this board as it exists today. And so if someone is to be bumped, it might very well be Duffy – but nothing in Lynn politics is written in stone.
Meimeteas has run twice in the past for public office. He is learning the ropes and is willing to spend money to get his name out and he’s become much better known than when he was first giving this stuff a try.
An at-large victory in Lynn is no easy task for incumbents or for candidates.
The advantage always goes to those who have run before and who have won because to run an at-large campaign one must have support in all the wards and precincts throughout the city – and this is not easily achieved.
They must be able to do a mailer or two, knock on doors in all the wards and raise money.
Newcomers need large vote totals from all the wards and this is not easily done without an enormous campaign effort – and most people running rarely put in that kind of effort.
So it is one thing to run. It is entirely another to want to win and to be willing to do what one must do to have that happen.
Barton appears to be a winner because he has stature in the community as well as a good and well-known family name and a coterie of Lynn people from all walks of life who are supporting him.
For candidates like Anderson (who has run for a ward seat several times), Funez, Net, Walsh and Memeiteas, winning an at-large race is not impossible, rather, but very, very difficult and problematic.
Not much is going to change in the upcoming election except that Barton will capture a seat and bounce an at-large member from the board.