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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who?...What?...Why?...For The Somerville Political Scene.

Recent fundraisers/fundraiser announcements have prompted speculation that two members of the Board of Alderman are thinking about running for Mayor. As other news providers have begun giving this topic some attention, I thought I would jump in and give my awesome readers a chance to lay out their thoughts on what the Somerville political landscape will look like a year from now. Please know that you can go beyond Ward 5 if you wish. So, what do you think? Who is running? Who should run? Why? What do you think their chances are?

Comment or email answers to the following questions (you may remain anonymous):
Who is running?
What are they running for?
Why do you think they are running?
What are their chances? Challenges? Strengths? Weaknesses?


Dexter said...

Is Joe Curtatone running again? I heard he wasn't. If not, then Sean should be Mayor and you should be the Alderman.

blog reader said...

I heard he was stepping down and the board president would take his place. I'm wondering who'll be elected president of the BOA.

Anonymous said...

Gewirtz is VP of the BOA right now and is poised to become President of the BOA in 2011. If she does, she will be interim Mayor if/when Joe takes a position with the Deval administration which is what he has been working towards the past couple of years. Heuston is going to try to get the President of the BOA position, too, I think. We'll see if she makes the move.

Sean is thinking about running, as is Roche, neither of whom I think can win a city wide election.

What Sean did on Craigie Street could come back and bit him in the behind if he runs city wide. Besides, I don't think he has the ability to cross the bridges with Old and New Somerville.

Unless Roche has someone running his entire campaign for him, he will not be able to win a citywide election, even with his $125/head fundraisers at the City Club.

I don't know who should run. I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts.

And I agree with a previous poster, you should run for alderman if Sean runs!!!

Anonymous said...

They elect a new president and vice president every year. I read in the Somerville News that Heuston and Gewirtz are both looking for votes for president.

Anonymous said...

I read and heard (from other sources) the same re: Gewirtz and Heuston. In terms of those currently serving on the BOA, I don't think anyone else will run for President. I don't think anyone else on the BOA can/would run for president.

To my earlier comment about Sean, he does a lot of good for Ward 5. There is no doubt about that and I commend him for it. I am just unsure that he would be able to communicate that effectively to other constituents in the city. We will have to see how it unfolds.

Without a doubt, I think that the BOA is certainly ready for new blood.

Dexter said...

Don't you think going with Deval is too risky?

What about at large? Who is thinking about that race?

Courtney said...

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their great insight! Everyone is bringing up some amazing points.

Here's what I've heard...

There is someone in the Porter Square area talking up neighbors that she is running for W5 Alderman. I haven't landed a name, but I've heard it from a few different sources.

I have heard everything from stepping down to working with Deval to going into private law practice as far as Joe Curtatone is concerned.

Dexter brought up a great question about the At Largers. What do you think about that race?

kellyanne said...

I am no longer registered to vote in Somerville. But then again if a person is REALLY from Somerville such hurdles do keep us from the polls : )

I follow the Somerville scene from afar - in Cambridge.

I have always liked Sean. I have not seen him in a few years, but he was a great guy then and I am sure he is now. I do think that few things might come up, The Probate Fiasco, etc., and if so it won't look too good for him. I also don't think that he can go "city-wide"

Let us define the term "city-wide" in relation to Somerville politics. It is not as much about running across the seven wards as much as it is about the winning the approval of the two voter demographics x 7.

Let me clarify further. If a candidate wants to run city wide they have to win the Clarendon Hill Towers and the votes that are staring at their laptops over high priced cups of coffee in Davis Square. This is easier said than done.

Then, equally more important, if this candidate exists, can they master the new era GOTV efforts? Can they get out the vote in new and old school fashion? Vans to the polls, phones and diehards with roof racks + Facebook, the blogosphere/an effective virtual presence.

I don't think that Billy Roche can play both worlds effectively - especially from his side of McGrath. Politics like technology is evolving fast and the voter base in the Ville mirrors this trend.

If the candidate is unable to hang in this new political environment do they have the money to pay for it?

Let the city-wide candidates think about that stuff.

YOU, have these skills and can handle Ward 5. I don't know who is running from Porter, but whoever it is I don't think they can hang with you - unless they have $$$. If you're thinking of going for it - IF Sean pulls papers for mayor - you gotta start thinking about where the money is gonna come from and how to raise it now.

You'll have my vote, my family's votes and my help when you pull papers.

Go Celts!

Anonymous said...

Curtatone either takes a position with Deval, or remains Mayor for now. 2012 will bring federal redistricting - and either the 8th CD will be abolished (and Capuano runs for the Senate) or Cap stay put. If he runs for the Senate, Curtatone may run for Congress, since he won't have to give up the Mayor's seat - if he doesn't have to run against Markey or Lynch.

Speaking of Capuano, rumors are that either (or both?) of his kids are looking at At Large or State Senate if Jehlen retires next term, or State Rep if Sciortino/Provost run for the Senate seat. One son is a lawyer and on the Planning Board (and has gotten good press lately from that) and the other has deep ties to Deval. Both would bring immediate name recognition and money to the table.

If Curtatone leaves for any reason, see a scrum between Heuston and O'Donovan for Mayor. Gewirtz may look at a run, but should rule it out, as Ward 6 is NOT representative of the entire constituency.

In that fight, Heuston wins hands down. O'Donovan is too wrapped up in Craigie Street, etc., which as a previous commenter mentioned, will come back to bite him - and will not present well citywide. Heuston is much better-spoken and presentable to a wider Som audience. Gewirtz, as mentioned, will have a hard time appealing to many wards outside of 6 (parts of 7and Brickbottom).

And THAT opens up ward races. Courtney - look at Ward 5, regardless of Sean's intentions. He can be beaten and you would be great. Look for the return of Marty Martinez, who I believe has moved into Union Square.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so Joey C is running again :(

I think Bill Roache is thinking of a run for Mayor's seat as he was voted to the helm years ago between Capuano and Dot Gay. With this said, a new ward 1 alderman will have to be chosen, right?

At large...hmmm. Capuano's kid, Micheal looks good for it.

James1 said...

Anonymous - I am pretty sure Roche was appointed Acting Mayor to serve out Capuano's term because he was the President of the BOA at the time. He didn't run when the seat was up.

I think it would be a hard leap from a ward alderman position in a low-voting ward to Mayor. Fundraising will be hard for him, too.

Curtatone, Capuano and Brune were At Large before being elected Mayor. Gay had just come off of a major statewide ticket in a close race.

I have heard a number of rumors for Capuano Jr. - from At Large to challenging Curtatone to running for an open 8th CD. He was out front on a number of recent Planning Board issues (including Max Pac and Job Lots) and was a surrogate for Senate Candidate Cap at a ton of events in Somerville and the 8th.

Anonymous said...

What are these newcomers chances? Didn't the aldermen run as a slate last time?

Anonymous said...

I read LaFuente is running in 4. Is he looking to be a candidate in every race during his lifetime?

James1 said...

I didn't even know he still lived in the city. It looks like W5O rumor mill has become the Somerville News' rumor mill as well. Capuano, Puglia, Fitzgerald.

I was at the Green Line Rte 16 meeting in Medford the other day. So was Capuano Jr. and Sciortino. So now I don't know.

Courtney said...

Truth be told, all us media people/speculators grab from one another and cross post. It keeps the mill spinning :)

Anonymous said...

Walter announced he's not in it for 2011. Who do we like there? LaFuente or Barber?

Anonymous said...

Neither. I see Rafal coming in and beating both. She is riding a rising star, LaFuente has lost twice and Barber is an unknown.

Matt said...

Courtney:I have been reading this article since you posted it. This conversation changes every week and all other Somerville news sources have followed suite. Good job!

Two things: 1.)The landscape is going to change DRAMATICALLY!! The News is reporting that Trane may not run. Pero announced he's not running. And White, supposedly, is selling his house, but means nothing until words come out of his mouth. That's could=more changes in 2011 than the past few years combined.

2.)I know everyone says this,but you should consider a run for something. Maybe school committee in 2013?

Also, have you considered a SCAT show for your website or going on pundit and;or greater somerville and doing some political speculating with Joe and Kyanne?


Anonymous said...

Matt, you're right. If White doesn't run, I definitely see those three names (possibly more) jump in - Capuano, Fitzgerald, Bremer.

Depending on when White leaves, assuming he does, I think it is an appointment to fill the seat until the next election. So then who is appointed? Does it change the field in November?

Anonymous said...

I'm posting this on all three too...

Who do you like in 4? Tough choice there as both candidates would do well.

Anonymous said...

anyone as worried about the whole Bill White situation as I am? He's the smartest guy on the board and I hate the thought of losing him.

Anonymous said...

Not worried about the Bill White situation. If he doesn't run for reelection, which is still a question, there seem to be some pretty qualified people who may be running for his seat.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Bill. I just saw the official MLS listing for 16 Browning last Friday.

Looks like there will be no alderman races in 1, 2, 3, 5, or 6, unless Bremer is looking to run against Taylor and not for Alderman-At-Large.

And no races for School Committee in any ward as of right now.

Anonymous said...

what's all this talk that Rafal is running for alderman? has she announced?

what about mayor? anything? anyone?

Anonymous said...

Everything I have seen about Rafal running has been from W5O. I don't think anyone has announced aside from the 2 candidates in 4 and the 2 candidates in 7.

Just because White is moving doesn't mean he's not moving within Somerville.

Anonymous said...

White is still taking things on in committee and doesn't seem to be slowing down. Is that a sign he's staying in the city? Maybe it's a sign he's running for mayor...fingers crossed.

I've read nothing about Rafal in ward 4...just about Tony and Barber.

Trane is in, so there will be a huge race in 7.

Haven't heard anything else.

Anonymous said...

According to the Somerville Journal blog, White is running for re-election.

Now the question is, with at least one At Large incumbent (who could have been the vacancy) declared, do the purported challengers Fitzgerald and Capuano still do it? And do they have a chance?

Anonymous said...

If Fitzgerald and/or Capuano junior run, I say Connolly is the weakest. I see Sullivan, White, and Desmond knocking out either Fitzgerald or Capuano junior.

I went to O'Donovan's fundraiser and couldn't help but overhear him boosting up Desmond. That tells me there's some fear despite no formal announcements from candidates.

Anonymous said...

I see cap jr. getting a seat over jack and fitz being beat by the other 3. Desmond has put himself back in the headlines with his image with his local/union hiring support against KSS and at assembly row.

Also hoping campano runs against gewirtz again. That as fun reading ha ha!

James1 said...

I don't agree that all 4 get re-elected. People are frustrated with the Mayor, frustrated with politicians in general. Plus most of the At Largers haven't particularly distinguished themselves.

Sure, Sullivan and White are still popular, but Connolly isn't and neither is Desmond. Desmond might now be getting on the anti-KSS bandwagon, but as Courtney tweeted not so long ago, Cap jr. was the only vote against the developer after the labor issues came to light. Not many people remember Fitz, I fear and he has not done much to distinguish himself.

Anonymous said...

I agree with James1 on this...

Louis Morales tried to run a few years ago, but his voting record and PDS connection cost him the race. Mike Jr has the best chance out of him and Fitzgerald because of his approach on the planning board. Oh ya, and his name.

Fitzgerald is going to have a tough time shaking the Dorothy Kelly skeleton in his closet.

PDSers are pushing Bremer to run for an at/large position rather than against Taylor for ward 3 because Tom backs Rebekah on the BOA and god only knows she needs all the help she can get.

Tony Lafuente has it won in 4. Christine is not known and Rafal will go for reelection of her school committee seat.

Anonymous said...

OK, OK, new Newstalk at the Snewz, new rumors.

Ricky Spinosa and or Laurie Foley running in Ward 4. Two long-timers might throw a wrench in La Fuente's "steamroller."

And yet somehow they keep saying White isn't running again. Anyone know what sources they have outside of their own imaginations? Didn't White tell the Journal himself that he was?

I guess we won't know till papers are pulled.

Anonymous said...

White was directly quoted that he's running again so I don't believe the Snewz on that one.

Never heard of the other 2 in ward 4 so I don't think they're a threat. Where is this Christine person? I haven't seen her anywhere. La Fuente has been around the fundraiser scene and has had 1 of his own.

Anonymous said...

Laurie Foley has worked in the school system (I think as a nurse) for years. Her husband used to work for the city too under several administrations. I don't know Spinosa.

Anonymous said...

The real race is between Barber and La Fuente. The PDSers are going to be out in full force to put Barber in there like they were for Rafal.

James1 said...

Based on Bremer's op-ed in the Journal, looks like she is getting ready for a push too. Thoughts on the op-ed?

Mike said...

Article in today's Journal about possible candidates. Lots of the same names we've heard here. Quick summary of the article:

1: No challengers to Roche.
2: No challengers to Heuston
3: Bremer may challenge Taylor
4: LaFuente and Barber are in. Vaughn Goodwin considering.
5: No challengers to O'Donovan, Lynch out
6: No challengers to Gewirtz
7: Ballantine and Puglia are in versus Trane, Capuano and Fitzgerald out versus Trane. Rossetti considering.

At large: Bremer, Capuano, Fitzgerald, Luis Morales (ran before), Goodwin considering.

Mayor: No challengers to Curtatone, although article is unclear if Goodwin is considering.

Anonymous said...

would you consider running for school committee? I would really just like to see you elected in the city.

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