When the day came and went on Friday, July 19, the ballot for the City Election was set as the deadline for returning Nomination Papers transpired, and it was some of the names that were missing that were some of the biggest surprises.
The competition is heavier than usual this time around, and already a Preliminary Election has been triggered for at-large School Committee and at-large City Council. However, Election Department officials were looking into canceling that election with special state legislation as there aren’t that many candidates, and the City could save a good chunk of money by moving everyone to the November election.
The Council was briefed on the proposal Monday night, and a vote is expected on Thursday regarding whether or not to move forward with canceling the two Preliminary races.
Chief among the surprises not on the ballot was Ward 4 Councilor John Leo McKinnon, who announced his retirement on Friday to the Independent (see story).
Another missing name was that of School Committeeman Lester MacLaughlin, a long-time member of the Committee. MacLaughlin didn’t return an e-mail seeking comment in time for this story, but some have said he moved out of Everett and may not have qualified to run.
That, however, could not be confirmed by press time.
One remarkable thing about the ballot is the competition on the School Committee, which has not been the case for many years.
Familiar face Dan Skeritt is back on the ballot for School Committee at-large after sitting out a few election cycles – having run an impressive campaign for Council at-large a few years ago.
“When I heard that Lester was retiring, I felt like that was an opening for me and I really want to serve the residents and students of Everett,” he said. “I keep telling people I’m not running against anyone, I’m running to serve the people.”
Since his Council run a few years back, Skeritt has watched his daughter graduate from high school and go on to Wentworth Institute of Technology. Additionally, he has been a family liaison for parents in the Cambridge Public Schools.
That is something he said he has enjoyed more than any other job he’s had in years. Having raised several children as a single-father, he said he knows the trials and tribulations parents go through – especially those with kids in the special education (IEP) programs.
That, he said, has become his passion, and he’s hoping to be that voice for Everett residents on the Committee.
Joining him in the race are incumbents Bernie D’Onofrio and Millie Cardello. Newcomers in the race include Cynthia Sarnie, Samantha Lambert, Angelmarie DiNunzio and David Lindsey Jr.
Meanwhile, all but one ward in School Committee (Ward 5), has a contested race, which is the first time in a long time that has happened.
In Ward 1, incumbent Allen Panarese is facing Edgar Ruiz; while Ward 2 incumbent Joe LaMonica will face Thomas Messina Jr.
Ward 3 incumbent Frank Park will face Robert Santacroce, and Ward 4 incumbent Dave Ela Jr. will face Dana Murray. In Ward 6, School Committee Chair Tom Abruzzese will face John Mavilio Jr.
Only Committeeman Marcony Almeida Barros is unopposed.
For Council at-large, 11 candidates qualified for the ballot, including incumbents Wayne Matewsky, John Hanlon, Michael Marchese, Peter Napolitano and President Richard Dell Isola.
The challengers in the at-large race will be Renee Solano, James Lavecchio, Stephen Simonelli, Catherine Tomassi Hicks, Gerly Adrien and Joseph Matthew LaMonica.
In the wards, there are only three races out of six wards.
In Ward 2 – an open seat – Jason Marcus will face Stephanie Martins, both political veterans in the city.
In Ward 5, incumbent Rosa DiFlorio will face Vivian Thuc Nguyen, who qualified for the ballot on day in advance of the deadline.
Ward 6 promises to be one of the most interesting ward races though, with Councilor Michael McLaughlin facing off against long-time businessman Al Lattanzi – who has also served as the chair of Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s campaign for years. The two are already in a spirited contest, and it will likely be one to watch.
Ward 1 Councilor Fred Capone, Ward 3 Councilor Anthony DiPierro, and newcomer for Ward 4 Jimmy Tri Le are all unopposed.