By Cary Shuman
Brian LaPierre continues to build momentum following his big, ticket-topping effort in the Sept. 12 Lynn preliminary for councillor-at-large.
LaPierre, an incumbent who also finished first in the 2015 final election, is among the most visible candidates in the city, attending numerous events, meeting residents door to door, conducting phone bankings and sign-holdings, and speaking to constituents about his many accomplishments as a member of the City Council.
In an interview with the Lynn Journal, LaPierre talked about his busy campaign for re-election and his impressive record as a city councillor – but not before paying tribute to two of his colleagues, Councillor-at-Large Daniel Cahill and Ward 2 Councillor William Trahant Jr., who are not seeking re-election to the council(Cahill will continue to serve in his position as state representative).
“Dan is a good, longtime friend of mine and I endorsed him his last time out,” said LaPierre. “Dan has been both a friend and a leader in my eyes. He took me under his wing two years ago and we talked once a week on the phone about the pressing issues affecting the City of Lynn. I consider him a great ally and I’m going to miss his leadership style, his openness and direct advocacy for his constituents. I know he will remain an effective voice for the Tenth Essex District at the Statehouse level. And I wish him well.
“Bill Trahant has been a tremendous asset to the City Council and he will be missed,” said LaPierre.
LaPierre said he has been “pleasantly surprised” by his strong results at the polls.
“I’ve very happy with the results – obviously it’s a lot of hard work and I think it’s the payoff for that hard work,” said LaPierre. “We really do campaign not just on Election Day but certainly throughout my first term, and people really reward hard work in Lynn. I’ve always been a believer in that. We haven’t let up. We continue to talk with people who don’t know me and firm up support of those who know me.”
Political observers say that LaPierre has been a productive official who “gets the job done for everyone.” He returns phone calls from constituents, he has a good working relationship with ward councillors – and as he says, “All that stuffs helps on Election Day.”
Alex Powell of Swampscott, a recent graduate of Franklin Pierce College, is managing LaPierre’s campaign.
“He’s a real good field organizer,” credits LaPierre. “We go door to door. We have conversations with the voters. We feel the turnout (11 percent in the preliminary) will rise dramatically in the final election.”
LaPierre is proud of what he terms “a laundry list of progress and improvements” during his first term on the City Council.
“There’s Market Basket’s new store, the Gateway Project (Sagamore and Sachem Street), the Lynn Ferry reinstatement, the Luxury Apartments at the Vault, the Wyoma Square parking lot expansion and modernization, the Beacon Chevrolet site off the ground and ready to permit in early 2018, the new downtown renaissance.”
He endorses “wholeheartedly” the possibility of bringing the Amazon headquarters to Lynn. “It could be developed on the Gear Plant, the waterfront, or the Lynnway,” he said. “They’re talking over 50,000 local jobs. It would change the whole region, not just the city of Lynn. We do offer some of the great intangibles that no one else can offer – land space, transit, the waterfront, the walkability and being 12-15 minutes from Logan Airport. It would be a dream come true and a game changer for the city of Lynn for decades.”
Looking at future issues in Lynn, LaPierre said he is concerned about the increasing number of motorists “speeding in Lynn and people just not paying attention” while driving their vehicles. He said for example, many residents fear their children being on the curbing of Boston Street and Fenton Avenue.
He said he will continue to work hard for safer neighborhoods and cleaner streets and keeping the focus on the opioid crisis.
LaPierre, who works as the director of organization for the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, said he will not make any official endorsement in the mayor’s race matching Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy against Sen. Thomas McGee.
“Both people offer a certain set of skills and I do believe that the primary is not indicative of the turnout in the final,” he said. “Sen. McGee did extremely well but Mayor Kennedy is not to be underestimated and her machine is now just starting to take shape. I will be able to work with either candidate in the corner office come January.”
LaPierre credited his wife, former Lynn English softball star Kelly (Curtin), for her support throughout his rising political career. He will discuss his future ambitions with his wife after Nov. 8.
“Kelly is the linchpin of the family. She holds everything together for us. You can imagine the laundry, the suppers, the kids and I’m asking her if she can attend this event with me. It’s really a tax on the family and I don’t know how much I can put her through if it were another campaign for higher office. But in the days to come, we’re really focused on my re-election bid.”
But based on his successive first-place finishes at the polls, it’s clear that Brian LaPierre would be a contender in any political contest in which he puts his name on the ballot.