The entrance of Buzzy Barton into the At-Large mix changes the face of that upcoming race.
Barton is on the rise.
He is in with the mayor, and even if she doesn’t have the power to propel him, there are enough Flanagan-Kennedy supporters who all worked to get rid of Chip Clancy who will vote for Barton.
Then, of course, he has his own constituency which means a lot when one is running for an at-large position in a big city like ours.
For instance – he has a big public school constituency with a base at English High School.
He is a very popular guy. Most people around here give him a seat.
The real question is – at whose expense?
Also, there are others apparently contemplating a possible run for At-Large but none who wished to allow their names to be published.
But let’s assume Barton is the only new face to seek an At-Large seat.
What can he expect?
Could he top the ticket and cut Council President Tim Phelan down to size?
I don’t think so – but then – I didn’t think Chip Clancy could lose to a write in candidate who was much younger and better looking than him.
Phelan’s strength is citywide. He’s topped the ticket the last few times out. He works hard and he pays close attention to what he does.
Phelan has higher ambitions.
He’s a fulltime councilor by every stretch of the imagination
In other words, Phelan is a tough guy to aim for and to beat if you’re the outsider trying to get a seat in a five man race.
So who is Barton aiming to beat?
He won’t beat Paul Crowley.
Crowley is a dogged campaigner.
He loves what he does. He pays close attention. He has a pretty solid base and with virtually no one talking against him. In other words, Crowley doesn’t have much of a negative factor.
He’s strong like Phelan but not as strong as Phelan.
Attorney Daniel Cahill is the young guy who speaks well and who cuts a sharp image. He plays well on television.
He’s a good kid with a possible future here, a decent base, and he’s gaining a knowledge of how the council works.
With an electorate that is older, he does well because he is so bright eyed and bushy tailed – and a handsome guy with a beautiful wife (who is also a lawyer) as well. And his mother is so pretty and so able to help her boy out.
He’s not going anywhere.
Barton is obviously going after Stephen Duffy.
Duffy seems to have nine lives.
He’s on the council. He’s off the council. He’s on the council. He’s off the council again.
Duffy, as much as I like him, is the weaker link this time around.
Barton is breathing down his neck.
Barton is the odds on favorite to take Duffy’s seat – but only if he campaigns and runs a legitimate campaign.
Most important to remember in all of this speculation is that Barton comes from a large Lynn family.
He’ll have plenty of people working for him.
It is almost impossible to beat a popular guy with such a large family in this city or in any city.
So its Duffy versus Barton for an At-Large seat.