By Cary Shuman
Lynn City Clerk Janet Rowe is predicting that the turnout in Tuesday’s city election will exceed the turnouts in the previous city elections in 2009 and 2013.
“I look for a turnout larger than the 31 percent we had four years ago,” said Rowe, who is also the city’s election chief. In 2009, the turnout was 23 percent.
As reasons for her prediction, Rowe, pointed to not only the hotly contested race between Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy and State Sen. Thomas McGee, “but there are also openings on the School Committee and the City Council, and there a couple of ward races that we didn’t have last year.”
The main event in the final election is the mayoral race where Kennedy and McGee have been conducting highly energetic campaigns and squaring off in a number of debates.
McGee won the preliminary with 72 percent of the vote, but Kennedy has stepped up her campaigning efforts since the preliminary election. She is pointing to a number of major accomplishments on her record, including the transformation of Wyoma Square, the construction of the new, state-of-the-art Thurgood Marshall Middle School, the Lynn Auditorium’s emergence as a premier entertainment venue, and the opening of the new Market Basket, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the city. During Kennedy’s eight-year reign as mayor, Lynn has become a hot spot on the North Shore, attracting new residents and new businesses.
McGee, a highly respected legislator on Beacon Hill, has citied his long list of accomplishments as a state representative and state senator. McGee has continued the fast pace of a well-organized campaign that was able to bring out a strong vote in the preliminary election. He is also delivering a clear message about the changes he would implement as mayor and his vision for Lynn’s future.
Kennedy defeated incumbent Mayor Edward Clancy Jr. in 2009 to become the first female mayor in Lynn history. In 2013, she won re-election over then Councillor-at-Large Timothy Phelan. The question is: Can Kennedy rally her supporters and overturn the margin of the preliminary election and defeat another popular, well-established challenger for the highly coveted position of mayor?
The School Committee race for six seats features four incumbents, Donna Coppola, Lorraine Gately, John E. Ford Jr., and Jared Nicholson and six candidates, Brian Castellanos, Elizabeth Gervacio, Cherish Casey, Natasha S. Megie-Maddrey, Michael Satterwhite, and Jessica Murphy.
The Councilor-at-Large race for four seats includes three incumbents, Brian LaPierre, Buzzy Barton, and Hong Net and five candidates Brian Field, Taso Nikolakopoulos, Rick Ford, Jaime Figueroa, and John Ladd.
The race for Ward 1 Councillor has attracted the most attention. Councillor Wayne Lozzi faces the challenge of candidate William O’Shea III in a spirited race that saw Lozzi win the preliminary election 53 to 46 percent.
Richard Starbard and Gina O’Toole are seeking to succeed William Trahant Jr. as the Ward 2 Councillor.
City Council President and Ward 3 Councillor Darren Cyr faces the challenge of George Meimeteas in the Ward 3 election.
In Ward 5, City Councillor Dianna Chakoutis is being challenged for the seat by Marven Hyppolite.
Ward 4 Councillor Richard Colucci, Ward 6 Councillor Peter Capano, and Ward 7 Councillor John Jay Walsh Jr. are unopposed in their bids for re-election.