Primary Day in Lynn; Who is in and Who is Out?

September 20, 2011
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Lynn goes to the polls Tuesday to decide who will make the ballot and who will not in the hotly contested at-large division of the city council.

Ten people are running. Only 8 will make the cut for the Election Day finale.

The School Committee is fielding 8 hopefuls, all of whose names will appear on the ballot in November.

Without a governor’s race or mayoral election to give balloting a boost, voter turnout is expected to be exceptionally low in Tuesday’s primary.

As few as 2500 votes might be needed to top the ticket in the at-large race, according to political insiders intimately familiar with the workings of politics in this city.

The closest similar situation occurred in 2007. There was a primary with no mayoral race with the candidate who topped the at-large ticket receiving 2200 votes.

That was then. This is now.

The man of the hour in the at-large race is Buzzy Barton, making his first run for public office.

Barton is running side by side with ticket topper Council President Attorney Tim Phelan to take the top position in balloting.

Barton is a longtime, well liked, very capable, political insider. He has friends throughout the city. More than that, he has the appearance of an incumbent without being an incumbent.

He has been a firefighter and president of the union. He is a champion basketball coach. He ran Pat McManus’s successful mayoral campaigns. He helped the present mayor when she beat Chip Clancy in a miraculous sticker campaign.

It should be expected that Barton’s friends, relatives, workers, colleagues, cousins, sisters and brothers are all going to come out for him, which will give him an edge over nearly all the others running.

If he doesn’t top the ticket on this, his first time out, he will come close.

If all things are equal, Phelan should top the ticket. Barton should come in second.

At large councilor Attorney Dan Cahill will finish third. He remains strong throughout the city and also remains a young man on the way up.

The vote falls off at this place in balloting.

The popular Paul Crowley, the well known businessman, should maintain himself in the fourth position. He has done nothing wrong that would cause his popularity to decline.

At large Steve Duffy should find a place on the November ballot as well. His name recognition dwarfs that of Clay Walsh.

Many people mistakenly believe Walsh is related to Rep. Steve Walsh – which he is not. Walsh has also been dogged by a controversial past which has tended to dog him during his run.

However, he should get a place on the ballot.

This leaves George Meimemteas, Miguel Funez and Calvin Andersen.

It is most likely that either Meimemteas or Funez will capture the eighth spot on the ballot in voting Tuesday.

Funez has been working more than Meimemteas and some insiders are giving him the edge.

All 8 school committee incumbents and hopefuls will make the ballot in November.

The longtime incumbent School Committee powers like Donna Cappola, and John Ford should perform well as usual. Incumbent Vin Spirito is also expected to do well.

The talk of the city in this race are two candidates – Charlie Gallo and Delores DiFillipo.

These two have worked harder than all the other candidates combined and that should count for something.

In fact, it is Ms. DiFillipo that has made quite a mark with her campaign.

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