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Worcester City Council: Look Who is Running

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

 

The race for Worcester's City Council may not be a citywide political battle, but there are a couple of potential knockdown races that have all the making for a political firestorm.

SEE SLIDESHOW BELOW OF DECLARED AT-LARGE CANDIDATES

Political experts from across the City point to the battle for 5th District Council seat as having the potential to be a hotly contested race. Similarly, the race for the Councilor-At-Large could produce some potential interest.

David Schaefer, Holy Cross Political Science Professor outlined two areas to watch this year: the race for the 5th and a changed field for the At-Large seats with Councilman Joe O'Brien's decision not to run.

At-Large Battles

There are six At-Large Council seats and twelve candidates running. The campaign for At-Large includes sitting Mayor Joe Petty and former Mayor Konnie Lukes. 

"With O'Brien's withdrawal, the reelection prospects of ALL incumbent at-large candidates are enhanced, since there is now an open seat for a challenger without displacing any incumbents. Bergman, an attorney who has run previously, is probably best equipped to win the open seat," said Professor Schaefer.

All the candidates for At-Large can be tracked below on the slides - see their bios.

Clark Professor Robert Boatright discounted that any of the sitting At-Large council members will have a difficult time seeking re-election, "I don't think any of them will. The only non-incumbent at-large candidate who is clearly a threat is (Moe) Bergman, but with the one seat open I don't think there will be much of a shakeup. If you look at previous years' voting results, Germain is the one who historically has received the fewest votes."

In November of 2011 elections, Petty was the top vote getter for the At-Large followed closely by Kate Toomey (who ran for the 15th State Representative in November, but lost in the Democratic primary). 

An early indication that the challengers are serious about taking out the incumbents will be their ability to build organizations and to raise dollars.

Battle is on for the 5th District.

The biggest battle will be for the 5th where incumbent Bill Eddy faces former Councilman Gary Rosen. 

"Eddy has had a tougher than expected time when he has had opposition, and Rosen is very well known. Eddy is generally a nice guy who, like Economou, has a district that pays attention to local politics. This could be close. It may be Rosen's disadvantage that he has been writing a regular column for Worcester Magazine. While it never hurts to get your name out there, Rosen has used the forum to level some fairly harsh attacks on a variety of different interests in Worcester," said Boatright.

In the last go around, Eddy beat his challenger James Kalogeropoulos by a wide margin 59% to 41%.

Slots the Issue in the 5th

Holy Cross Professor Schaefer told GoLocalWorcester, "Rosen stands a fair chance in his challenge to Eddy, given widespread name recognition from his previous service on School Committee and Council. Voters probably won't hold his '09 withdrawal against him. However, to beat Eddy he needs an issue. Having come out against the slots parlor in his WoMag column, Rosen needs to run on this issue, given Eddy's status as one of the slots proposal's most partisan and sharp-tongued defenders on the Council."

"Given the harm that the slots parlor will do to the city- promoting bankruptcies, alcoholism, drug use, family breakup, crime, and other social ills - many people in this district are likely persuadable to vote for Rosen if he can stress these problems and emphasize the sharp difference between him and Eddy on the issue," said Schaefer.

See Slidehow Below of Declared At-Large Candidates


 

 

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