What a difference a week makes.
Last Monday, Council President Tim Phelan was the guy that topped the ticket every time out.
On Tuesday night, that streak ended abruptly
Buzzy Barton on his first run for public office, finished way out in front of the field of at-large council candidates.
Barton didn’t just top the ticket. He topped the ticket impressively.
He knocked out the perennial favorite Phelan and finished almost 500 votes in front of the runner-up, Dan Cahill.
What does this signal, if anything?
Barton is popular. Barton is affable. Barton is on the rise.
Can he repeat his ticket topping act in November?
That is a much harder feat to accomplish and the Lynn voting demographic in November is about four times the number of this recently held primary.
In other words, primary ticket toppers sometimes lose in the finale.
I don’t think Barton will.
I believe if he works very hard and campaigns very smart all the time, he has a chance to repeat. Again, he’s a guy on the rise.
Phelan, however, is not done with his political career. He has consistently shown himself to be the top vote getter in the at-large field.
He lost his supremacy Tuesday to Barton. And Cahill even topped him.
But in November, you throw away the rule book.
Phelan’s vote hasn’t disappeared. They didn’t come out to the extent that Barton’s did in the primary.
Phelan’s voting base is broader than Barton’s. It is broader than Cahill’s.
It has not disappeared. And Cahill will work hard to get out his vote in November.
Many, many primary winners rest on their laurels after topping the ticket.
Then comes the wake up on Election Day – they come in last or barely make the cut and in rare occasions, they are at the start of something much bigger as might be the case with Barton.
We’ll have to see how hard he works and what he does before the finale.
Cahill in second shows some strength for the young, attractive lawyer who has been especially vocal at council meetings.
He, too, is a young man on the rise and his second place finish proves that.
Paul Crowley showed he is in the in crowd, finishing fourth, as I had predicted. I predicted the top three finishers but got the order wrong.
Crowley is a durable, well-liked, Lynn businessman who is easy to talk with and who has his heart in the right place.
Fifth place finisher Hong Net is the star of stars in this primary.
He is a Cambodian man who has experienced great struggles in his life.
He campaigned as hard as anyone in this election and he came out of it with a spot on the ballot and in front of the durable Steve Duffy.
Net’s strong finish shows the changing nature of the population here and shows as well the tendency for Lynn voters to accept newcomers – or in this case – a Southeast Asian candidate.
Barton and Net have set a new standard here. An African American and a Southeast Asian topping the ticket and finishing high up respectively.
These were tremendous victories for Barton and Net – but can they duplicate their great success in the finale – that is the question.