State Senate Election Could Impact 2013 City Races

September democratic run-off may alter local political winds.


August has passed its mid-point and we will soon be into September.

The ninth month has long been one of transition. The weather will begin a gradual change to cooler winds, and students will return to their studies.

Transitions will also occur in the political world.

There have been some watershed moments over the last 40 years in Salem. The mayoral election in 1969 stands as the first one in my memory. Two sons of Salem squared off to succeed Francis X. Collins who had led the city for 20 years. When the smoke cleared, Sam Zoll had won the vote over Dick Guy.

Soon after that, Jean Levesque, who had been selected by the city council to succeed Zoll, was challenged in two consecutive elections by Hank O'Donnell.  Levesque endured to serve 10 tears in the .

The battles between Stan Usovicz and John Donahue still resonate with those who participated on either side.

The election of Kim Driscoll in the 2005 election also stands as a memorable moment in Salem election history.

On the state government level the last real fight we had was in 2004 when John Keenan was elected in the general election following a primary fight with Joan Lovely.

This year, the election cycle has been active and has the potential to impact next year's school committee, council and mayoral races.

It is a forgone conclusion that the winner of the democratic primary in the 2nd Essex Senate race will win in the general election. Mary-Ellen Manning, John Slattery, Joan Lovely and Ed Carroll will all be on the slate. That is a busy ballot. 

The primary election turnout will reflect just how much interest these candidates have generated. The bigger U.S. Senate, Congressional and presidential races will probably not draw primary voters to the polls. They will however, draw a heavier turnout in the November general election.

We in Salem will be impacted by whoever is elected to the State Senate seat. The impact will be greatest if Joan Lovely wins.

A Lovely victory will probably result in her resigning from the city council. That would require a special election by the council to elect someone to fill the at-large seat. The council met in that capacity some months ago in order to fill a vacancy on the school committee.

If such an election is actually required, the results may prove very interesting and will almost certainly have some carryover effect for the 2013 Salem elections.

There will be those who will want to hold the council to the "precedent" they set in selecting Dr. Lisa Lavoie to the school committee due to her finishing as the first runner-up in the general election. Some behind the scenes politicking is already taking place, asking for that precedent to be ignored.

Rumors of sitting city councilors challenging Mayor Driscoll will also be fresh on the minds of voters if that special election occurs. They will surely be watching and listening.

The September primary approaches. It is a primary with actual ramifications not only for the Senate election, but for the 2013 elections here in the city.

It's a chance for your voice to be heard. Don't miss it.

KlassySalem August 20, 2012 at 08:39 PM
What's really fun is that two of the people working on the Lovely campaign are pretty convinced that they have the inside track to replace her.
Ed Carroll October 01, 2012 at 10:44 AM
up the penalty for fighting of brawling to a no tolerance degree...and a possible jail sentence and enforce it..there is always that person or persons that love to fight at a bar but once they know they might end up in jail they will not be so eager to engage in that activity in salem


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