The year 2019 is three days old but the 2019 election season is already heating up.
Donald J. Castle, a 52-year-old Lynn resident, has announced that he will be a candidate for the Ward 6 seat on the Lynn City Council. Castle said he will hold a campaign kickoff event on Friday, Jan. 25 at Hibernian Hall. He has unveiled the format for his campaign stickers that will be red and black, adorned appropriately with a “castle” in the left top corner.
The Ward 6 seat is being vacated by Peter Capano, who was inaugurated Wednesday as state representative.
Castle lived on Henry Avenue in his youth, attended Cobbet Elementary and Breed Junior High, and graduated from Lynn Classical in 1984. He grew up in a single-parent household (His father was killed by a drunk driver when his mother, Frances, was seven months pregnant). His mother is a retired personnel director for the city of Lynn. He has one brother, Steve, a retired Lynn Police officer.
Castle graduated from UMass/Boston with a degree in Political Science and holds a J.D. degree from Massachusetts School of Law. He became a probation officer in 2000 and is currently the assistant chief probation officer at Suffolk Superior Court, Boston.
“As a probation officer, I have a lot of experience in the substance use disorder continuum and how to help people and get them in to treatment,” said Castle. “I made it my personal goal to understand this disease that is wrecking our cities and our neighborhoods.”
Castle gained recognition locally for his role as one of the leaders in the effort against the construction of two middle schools in Lynn, one at McManus Field near Lynn Tech, and the other on Parkland Avenue, the neighborhood in which Castle is a resident. Residents voted against new schools’ construction by a sizable margin.
“I’m running for council because I want to ensure open, transparent, and fair government,” said Castle. “I want to expand the involvement of people, and that’s what we did with the school vote. We were never against the schools. We were against the location and the process.”
Castle said he is concerned about the city’s fiscal stability. “The city is supposedly $5 million in debt,” he said. “Everyone’s talking about how to get out of debt. Here’s my theory: we need to expand our commercial and residential tax base. Why isn’t that happening? I believe we need to fully fund the police department and the police drug unit, and the fire department. We need to let people know inside and outside of Lynn to not to come to Lynn to buy and sell drugs, that we’re aggressively policing our city and our neighborhoods, and we have to get that message out there. Until we address public safety and cleanliness, and people feeling safe, we’re not going to have huge development.”
Interestingly, Castle’s grandmother, Nelly Cerrana, lived in Rockmere Gardens. His mother lived next door to former Senate Majority Leader, the late Walter Boverini.
Castle has appointed Jorge Espinosa, a resident of Pine Hill, as his election campaign treasurer.