When Wayne Matewsky threw his name in the Council-at-large race, few people in the Everett political scene gave him much of a chance.
After having just come off on the wrong end of a contentious state representative race and having entered the Council race late in the process, it was assumed he would pull his regular vote, but not enough to win in a crowded and competitive field.
But Matewsky, 57, knew better, having decades of experience in Everett politics that told him something different than what the political insiders were thinking.
“In Everett, it’s nice to be underestimated by Everett’s political insiders and that’s what they did with me,” he said this week just prior to be inaugurated in his return to City politics. “I’m excited to return back to Everett City Hall. My whole adult life I’ve been in politics except for the last year. I think some people wanted me to return to City Hall and that’s why they voted for me. It’s an exciting time to be returning to City Hall as a supporter of the casino. A lot is going on in Everett.”
Matewsky said he tapped into a tried and true strategy, which paid off on Election Day as he topped the ticket in the at-Large field with 2,041 votes.
He noted that he won Ward 1, Ward 2, Ward 4 and finished strong in precincts in other parts of Everett. The victory is something that Matewsky said he could feel in the air on Election Day.
“I was the last one to put up signs in the race,” he said. “I was letting the others spin their wheels. I waited until after the Ward 2 Preliminary election because I didn’t want people getting confused. After that, I put 400 signs in a week and a half. Then I knew I was on my way.
“On Election Day, once the first precinct came in – Ward 3 Precinct 1 – I was only 15 votes behind the top person,” he continued. “I knew I was on my way. I could feel it in Everett Square when I was holding signs on Election Day. I had 64 phone calls for rides to the polls. That a lot. I’ve never had more than 20.”
Matewsky said he believes his win was a combination of reaching out to his ardent supporters, to the Senior Citizens, and to Haitian immigrants.
“I reached out to my Senior Citizens supporters first and relied on my strength in Ward 1, of course,” he said. “The Haitian community in Everett votes and that a group not many people have tapped into, but they’ve always been good to me. Then, I drove around the City, which is only 3.5 miles – and I realized I had friends on every street in the City. I realized I had strong support throughout the whole City.”
Matewsky praised the other candidates for running a clean campaign, but said it was a tough campaign personally, as he lost his father in the Spring of 2015, and his mother, Marion, continues to recover from an aneurism she suffered in 2012. Despite those things, he said his mother was his inspiration during the campaign.
And, of course, he said it was also inspiring to be underestimated.
“I’m grateful,” he said. “God has been good to me and the Everett voters have been good to me. I think the Everett voters are a little smarter than some might think. It’s great to be underestimated.”