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Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Word Around The Ward: Who? What? Why? Edition

Rather than the traditional Word Around the Ward feature, I have decided to launch the Who? What? Why? of the Somerville political scene today! Let the speculation begin! ~Courtney O'Keefe

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 express their thoughts on what the Somerville political landscape will look like in November. Most of you participated in my two previous versions of this post touching on the Somerville scene and the Massachusetts scene, respectively. This time around is no different! 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 your answers to the following questions below!
Who is running?
What are they running for?
Why do you think they are running?

You can also include:
What are their chances? Challenges? Strengths? Weaknesses?

Here is what we know so far...
Ward 1 Alderman: Elio Lorusso has been making the media rounds with heartwarming comments after the Mayor's State of City address on January 7th along with strong points after the latest Holiday Inn fiasco. Is he gearing up to give Maureen Cuff-Bastardi a run? Before we even get in to Maureen even going to run?

Update: Not only are Elio and Maureen in the race, but Matt McLaughlin (Save Our Somerville) was announced as a cadidate at Mark Niedergang's March fundraiser.

Update: For September 24th it will be Maureen Bastardi, Matt McLaughlin and Elio Lorusso vying for the Ward 1 seat.

Ward 1 School Committee: This depends on who is chosen to fill Maureen Cuff-Bastardi's seat. No word on who is considering at this point.

Update: Finalists were dwindled down to one candidate. Weeks later, he would resign due to health issues. Stephen Roix, the original suggestion by Bastardi, was sworn in to represent Ward 1 after months of not having a rep at the horseshoe.

Update: November 5th will see a race between Stephen Roix (incumbent) and Kenneth Salvato.

Ward 2 Alderman: Looks like Maryanne Heuston may run with no opposition again as no one has sparked any speculation in Ward 2.

Update: Maryann Heuston is running unopposed.

Ward 2 School Committee: Ward 2 has been represented, for years, by Teresa Cardoso and they seem to be happy with her.

Teresa Cardoso has announced her retirement and, with that, Mike Nionakis has pulled papers along with another candidate. Please include his name in the comment section if you know it.

Update: Mike Nionakis will face Dan Futrell on November 5th.

Ward 3 Alderman: Tom Taylor's previous opponent didn't run much of a campaign, but that doesn't mean the former Board President is out of the woods. Word in that ward is that someone is seriously considering.

Update: Lee Palmer has been rumored to be considering a run. One thing is for sure, however, Adam Sweeting is staying in his seat on the School Committee.

Matt Desmond and Bob McWatters are in! Should be one of the most interesting races to watch.

Update: The race is up to four! Robert J. McWatters, Matthew Desmond, Suzanne W. Bremer, and Stephen A. Delani will be on the ballot for September 24th.

Word 3 School Committee: A previous pull of papers hinted at a race in 2011, but Adam Sweeting would end up running unopposed. Could this be the case again?

Update: Adam Sweeting is running opposed.

Ward 4 Alderman: News that PDSer Marty Martinez is a homeowner in Ward 4, obviously, sparks speculation that he may run. No word on whether Christine Barber will take another shot at it.

Update: Tony LaFuente is running unopposed.

Ward 4 School Committee: As Vice-Chair, Christine Rafal seems content in her position on the School Committee, so no one foresees her moving up or on at this time. No word on whether anyone will challenge her in 2013.

Update: Christine Rafal is running unopposed.

Ward 5 Alderman: In the only definite race for this election season, School Committeeman Mark Niedergang is putting together a brilliant team of former candidates and Ward 5 minds to assist him as he aims to unseat incumbant Sean O'Donovan. Mark hit the ground running with a summertime announcement and fall fundraiser. At this point, no action in the O'Donovan camp, but that will change soon as he is beginning to put together his team.

Update: Rumors still spreading that a third candidate is considering, however, as nomination paper time draws closer the cold feet get colder. What's definite is that it will be Sean vs. Mark.

...this is awkward.

Update: It will be Mark and I for November 5th.

Ward 5 School Committee: With Mark running for Alderman, this seat is up for the taking. So far, two have expressed interest with one stating that it's a "serious consideration."

Update: The candidate pool is up to three people as Caroline Shea Rosas, Laura Pitone, and Ross Richmond have all officially declared. One is still considering, but has yet to make a decision.

It looks as though these three will be the only ones on the ballot come September.

Update: Caroline Shea Rosas, Ross Richmond and Laura Pitone will face off on September 24th.

Ward 6 Alderman: Rebekah Gewirtz ran unopposed two years ago and no one has verbalized an interest at this point. Could this be a repeat of 2011 for the newly engaged Alderwoman?

Update: Rebekah Gewirtz is running unopposed.

Ward 6 School Committee: Paul Bockelman, in my opinion, is one of the most approachable politicians in the City. Smart and one of the best speech writers I've read in a while-I see no one dissatisfied enough to not want him on the School Committee.

Update: Paul Bockelman is running unopposed.

Ward 7 Alderman: I wonder who the PDSers will choose this time to run against Bob Trane? Another name that keeps popping up is Sean Fitzgerald and he seems hell bent on being elected in Somerville. Is he going to challenge Bob Trane or stick with another At Large run?

Update: Katjana Ballantyne has formally announced. Trane, on the other hand, has not formally announced that he's seeking another term. 

Joe Capuano has also pulled papers and seems poised for a good run at the seat. Ball is in your court, Bob.

Update: November 5th will see Joe Capuano and Katjana Ballantyne squaring off for the seat.

Ward 7 School Committee: Mary Jo Rossetti is too dedicated to her role on the School Committee to consider going up or elsewhere. Voted as Chair, expect her to devote her time to making serious changes to the School System in Somerville and beyond, as well as, easily winning reelection.

Mary Jo shocked a lot of people when she pulled papers for Alderman At Large. Two candidates have pulled for School Committee, but rumors have it that one has already suspended their campaign to support the other.

Update: Caroline Normand is running unopposed.

Alderman At Large: See Ward 7 Alderman. No definite word from Ward 5er Todd Easton on whether he will take another shot at a seat in the horseshoe, nor, from Suzanne Bremer. Could Marty Martinez leave Ward 4 behind and take a shot at an At Large position again?

Update: Sean Fitzgerald continues to spread word that he is running for At Large again. No one else has expressed interest.

See Ward 7 School Committee

Update: November 5th will have the following At Large choices: John Connolly (incumbent), Dennis Michael Sullivan (incumbent), William White (incumbent), Carol A. Dempkowski, Sean Fitzgerald, William A. Medeiros, and Mary Jo Rossetti.

The Somerville News has been entertaining some great speculation in their weekly Newstalk column. Check out some interesting insight from January 9th and December 12.


Anonymous said...

According to the SJ, 5 people are interested in ward 1 SC. This should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

All the usuals will run--god forbid they don't--but hearing that Bob Trane is done. Valid?

Anonymous said...

Maureen will definitely run & roche will help her. Will progressives tap anyone to run against her?

Anonymous said...

you mean to tell me no one wants to run in 6?!?!

Anonymous said...

so happy this is back!!

the ward 5 race is going to be fun and i'm curious who wants the school seat.

Anonymous said...

Instead of going race by race, I'll just go person by person that has been making moves/has been rumored to be making moves, from the "top down"):

Mike Capuano Sr. Even though he was rumored to be running for Kerry's Senate seat, he hasn't made any moves aside from complain that Markey got early endorsements. I don't think he would fair well against another progressive in the race of note like Markey. Have also heard he is holding off to run for Governor in 2014. This will be a crowded field with Odds: Capuano stays put in the House until 2014 and then looks at who's in the race for Gov.

Joe Curtatone. Has heard that he will either run for governor in 2014 or for Congress if Capuano gets out for whatever reason. He has been spotted far and wide across the state for Sen. Warren, and made an appearance at a big statewide Dem activist's Christmas party in Worcester. Based on those two, he'd be better suited for Governor. Also, he has seriously pissed off Everett (part of the congressional district) by trying to squash their hopes for a casino. Odds: Runs for Governor in 2014, loses to someone with more money and statewide recognition.

Carl Sciortino. Rumors are that if Markey wins the Senate race, Carl will run for Congress. Also, rumors if Jehlen retires, he runs for the State senate. Odds: Carl runs for the Jehlen seat.

Denise Provost: Runs for the Jehlen seat if it opens up. Jehlen endorses Provost. Odds: in a Sciortino-Provost race, Provost wins.

Sean O'Donovan: Sean O'D has beaten off challengers before (see Sullivan, John and Lynch, Joe). Odds: Sean wins by 500 votes.

Neidergang: See O'Donovan.

Trane: Does not run against Sciortino. If Rep seat opens up, talks big game but steps aside. Has another challenger pull papers in 2013 (Ballantine again?) and declines to run for re-election since he only won by skin of his teeth last time with a 3-way primary. Odds: Alderman for Life.

Bill White: Will never challenge Curtatone. Will remain on the BOA until the Mayor's seat opens up. Will not run in a crowded field. Odds: Alderman-for-Life.

Maureen Bastardi: Newly-chosen Alderwoman will regain her seat in the normal election. She will vote against Gewirtz's proposal to eliminate vacancy-nominated BOA seats a la School Cmte. The onyl other alderman to support her will be Bill White. Odds: Bastardi wins reelection.

Mary Jo Rosetti: Has been eyeing Trane's seat for awhile. Would run if seat becomes vacant. Depending on who else is in the race, has a good likelihood of winning. Now the Chair of the School Committee, gave a very good speech the other night at the midterm.

Sean Fitzgerald: Has already pulled papers for At Large. Lost by 1,000 votes in 2011. Does not make up the difference this time.

Mike Capuano Jr: Biding his time for either Curtatone's seat or his father's seat while racking up profile from the Zoning Board and appearing at events with his dad. Quiet lately. Has the name recognition, smarts, and ambition to compete for either of those seats. Was a huge surrogate for his father's senate race, knows the Congressional district and the electeds in it.

Andrew laFuente: Have only heard rumors of him running from W5O, but from the good words said about him, he likely has the smarts and ambition to be a fine member of the BOA.

Todd Easton: Has been quiet lately after his defeat At Large (lost by about 1500 votes). However, he would be a great Wd 5 School Cmte person if he chose to run for the open seat.

James1 said...

Lots of speculation/hat-throwing in other sites as well:

Ward One school committee:

Congress/Mayor/State Reps:

Interesting that the last one has a possible Mayor Gewirtz. Personally, I think she'd never win (let alone run).

Anonymous said...

The who what why for Joe Curtatone has now changed ... Capuano versus Curtatone for governor in 2014? Does Curtatone give up his seat to campaign full time and leave White as acting mayor?

BillWhite versus Capuano Jr versus Sean O'Donovan for Mayor? Sciortino for Congress if Markey wins? Trane versus Ballantyne versus Capuano Jr for state rep if Sciortino leaves?

The who what why just got way different.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Aldermen meeting last night when they were discussing the former Ikea sight. Both White and Capuano Jr were making comments clearly playing to a bigger audience.

Anonymous said...

Lots and lots of news on the political front! Brown not running for senate. Curtatone staying as Mayor. With Brown and Capuano possibly running for governor now, does Joe do anything but be mayor for the rest of his life?

Anonymous said...

Katiana Ballantine just announced via Facebook she is challenging Bob Trane again this year.

Anonymous said...

Does the cycle track and contentious construction in union square help or hurt Heuston?

Anonymous said...

RE: Heuston...

No her ward loves her

Anonymous said...

Carl Sciortino has announced that he will seek Ed Markey's seat. Who goes for Carl's? Bob Trane?

James1 said...

I don't think Trane will run for rep again - he lost to Sciortino when he wasn't even on the ballot. Trane barely beat Ballantine last time and only won one precint.

Sciortino's district has all of Ward 7 and most of Ward 4 (incl. Ten Hills) in Somerville as well as a lot of Medford. I don't know the Medfordites, but the Somerville portion has Bill White, Dennis Sullivan and Mike Capuano Jr.

But this is a LONG way off and a long shot at that. Markey has to win the primary and the general, set in late June. Sciortino has to win the primary (probably crowded) and the general. This pushes the special election for his seat (if it opens up) to sometime in early 2014.

Anonymous said...

There is a third person who is now rumored to be running for alderman in ward 1 according to the Somerville News named McLaughlin.

Anonymous said...

Elio Lorusso has announced and has a website. Ward 1 now has an Alderman race. Should the 3rd confirm, it will have a primary.

Anonymous said...

Ward 3 race?

Anonymous said...

In response to the Ward 3 comment, this is shaping up to be a really interesting year. Tom Taylor has been battling illness for quite some time - rumors are he may not run for reelection. That would be too bad, as Tom has been a very good advocate for Ward 3, but obviously his health comes first. There are a lot of races with actual or rumored candidates:

Ward 1 Ald: Maureen Bastardi, Elio LoRusso, Matt McLaughlin.

Ward 1 SC: Steven Roix. Unsure of challengers.

Ward 3 Ald: Tom Taylor may step down. Rumored candidates: Dorothy Kelly Gay, Bruce Desmond, Adam Sweeting.

Ward 5 Ald: Sean O'Donovan, Mark Niedergang.

Ward 5 SC: Rosas, Pitone, Richmond.

Ward 7 Ald: Trane, Ballantyne.

At Large: Rumored Connolly and or Desmond may step down. Rumored candidates: Sean Fitzgerald, Marty Martinez, Mike Capuano, Todd Easton.

And if Carl Sciortino wins the Congressional seat, we can speculate about that too!

Ward Five said...

I spoke with Adam Sweeting tonight & he is not running for Ward 3 Alderman. He's sticking with School Committee.

~Courtney O'Keefe

Ward Five said...

Hi everyone,

I received a press release from Elio's campaign regarding his candidacy for Ward 1 Alderman. You can see it here:

Anonymous said...

I was at Heuston's event as well, and in addition to the three Ward 1 candidates and some incumbent aldermen, at Large candidate Sean Fitzgerald, and Mike Capuano Jr and his wife were working the room. I seemed pretty obvious that Capuano might be making a citywide run.

Anonymous said...

Is this true?!?

Anonymous said...


This thing has been quiet for a while. Repost with updates? That would make my day.

Ward Five said...


Day made! Cheers!

~Courtney O'Keefe

Anonymous said...

Can you update the unopposed wards? It would make it easier.

Ward Five said...

Yes and done.

~Courtney O'Keefe

Anonymous said...

Journal & News have been doing a decent job covering the candidates...thank god. There are so many of them it's hard to keep up.