By Thomas Grillo
Fresh on the heels of her narrow defeat in the Ward 6 Lynn City Council race last fall, Cinda Danh announced and then reversed a decision to challenge a longtime incumbent on the Democratic State Committee.
The 28-year-old government relations specialist at a Boston consulting firm filed her intention with the Democratic Party earlier this month to represent the Third Essex District. The caucus seat has been held since 2005 by Madelyn Davis, 70, of Nahant, who has never faced an opponent.
But last weekend, Danh told The Journal she withdrew from the race after meeting Davis.
“I considered running for the caucus seat, but decided against it after befriending Madelyn Davis, who is seeking reelection,” Danh said in a text message Sunday. “Maddy and I are excited and looking forward to elect progressive Democrats in Massachusetts…”
Those comments were in contrast to what she told The Journal just 24 hours earlier.
“My decision to run was very impulsive, but holding the seat would broaden the party and present more opportunities for me to be involved in a bigger scale,” Danh said. “I like to organize and campaign for Democrats and this is another way to do it.”
Danh, the daughter of Cambodian Genocide survivors who grew up in Lynn, said she never thought about whether she could defeat Davis.
“Maddy and I are on the same team, so I never considered how a race between us would have gone,” Danh texted after she decided not to run.
Still, being on the “same team” didn’t stop her from challenging incumbent Ward 6 City Councilor and fellow Democrat Frederick Hogan last fall.
Last year, Danh, raised a whopping $34,000 in her effort to defeat Hogan, most of it from out of town donors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign Finance.
She spent $52 per vote. In contrast, the 50-year-old incumbent spent $25,502 or $35 per vote.
The City Council post pays $25,000.
Danh came within 10 votes of Hogan in the September primary, and lost the final election by 75 votes in November.
Hogan did not return a call seeking comment and few Democrats were willing to talk about the potential match-up between Davis and Danh.
Speaking on background, Democrats said it would have been an uphill climb to unseat Davis, as it was with Hogan.
For her part, Davis said she thinks highly of Danh, but wants to keep her seat. In the last few weeks, Davis has made calls to shore up her support among local Democrats.
“It’s very rewarding,” she said. “The sole purpose of the State Committee is to make sure Democrats get elected to office and I am very passionate about Democratic values.”
The 11-member caucus represents Democrats in Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Saugus, and Swampscott. They are part of the 80 Democratic Caucus members statewide.
Winners will attend the Democratic State Convention at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell on May 30 where the party will choose to endorse either U.S. Sen. Edward Markey or U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy for senate, among other races and issues.