Everett City Councilor Joseph McGonagle Jr. upset incumbent State Representative Wayne Matewsky in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary, establishing himself as the likely new State Representative from Everett. McGonagle will still have to go through the general election in November, but as there is no Republican candidate on the ballot, he is essentially assured of winning.
McGonagle, who was one of six candidates who lost the Special Election Primary to Matewsky just 18 months ago, rebounded strongly in a head to head race with Matewsky, winning all but three precincts in the city, as he swept to victory by a total of 2,086 to 1,763.
The difference for Matewsky in this race was that despite good majorities in his home Ward 1, Matewsky won both precincts in Ward 1 by a combined 154 votes, a similar margin of victory in that ward as in his March 2013 Special Election Primary win. However, he won only one other precinct, Ward 4 Precinct 2, and that by just 5 votes.
Additionally, in 2013, Matewsky had the advantage in that most of his rivals appeared on the ballot with him, effectively splitting the vote. This time out, it was clear that McGonagle had the backing of other former opponents, such as former Mayors David Ragucci and John Hanlon, each of whom supported McGonagle’s candidacy.
McGonagle, for his part, ran a strong campaign, with supporters out all day making sure that voters got to the polls to vote for their candidate.
Overall, the voter turnout was low, just 4,012 voters turned out for this Primary Election, despite big races at the state level.