Race Heats up for Rep. Seat

January 15, 2014
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The crowded field of potential candidates that emerged last week in the race for Kathi-Anne Reinstein’s state representative seat has thinned out considerably in just a week’s time.

Those who have ponied up and are continuing on are, from Revere, RoseLee Vincent, Linda Rosa and George Rotondo. From Chelsea, political newcomer and attorney Josh Monahan has put his hat in the ring for certain.

Revere City Councillor John Powers is still undecided.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin set the election schedule last Wednesday, Jan. 8, with the Primary coming on March 4 and the final election on April 1. With the race heavy on Democrats, the election will likely be decided on March 4, which is less than two months away and only one week after the highly-touted second casino referendum vote in Revere.

Another complication cited was the fact that candidates would have to essentially run for the seat twice in a six-month span – as the winner in the special election this April would have to run again for re-election this fall.

Due to that short campaign window, one by one, candidates began declaring their desire not to run starting in the middle of last week and continuing on through this week.

Chief among them was Revere City Councillor Jessica Giannino, who many considered to be an early favorite in the race if she were to run.

In the end, she chose not to, issuing a statement on Friday afternoon.

“It has been a difficult week for me to come to this decision, but after such an overwhelming vote for my seat on the Council, I feel as if it is my duty to serve the people who have so recently elected me to the position of Councilor at Large at my fullest capacity; therefore, I shall not be running for State Representative,” she wrote. “I truly believe that this is a crucial time for the City of Revere; consequently, I feel it is my responsibility to represent all of those who supported my election to my present office. My family and I are extremely appreciative of all of the kind words we have received over the past few days.”

Revere’s Ward 4 City Councillor Stephen Reardon, an attorney, said he is not running specifically because of the time frame, but he didn’t rule out a run in the second election for the seat this fall.

“I can’t be a candidate in the special election for certain,” he said. “I simply don’t have the time…I have a business to operate and have 70 or 80 clients that rely on me. I would have to pare down my practice and I can’t do that in this time period…My interest in the fall election would be much more solid.”

Revere Councillor at-Large Brian Arrigo said he was not a candidate, but simply because he has not lived in the district long enough. A state representative candidate, per state law, must live in the district one year prior to taking office. He only recently moved to the district from the other side of Revere.

Former Chelsea City Councillor Paul Nowicki said he was also out of the race, and he went further in saying that he is endorsing Revere’s Vincent.

“I decided not to run based on the fact of the time necessary to run a campaign and be an effective leader and how that would affect my family,” he said. “There are no chances in raising children and being a good husband…I did sit down with RoseLee and I’ve known her for 18 years. I feel confident she will do a spectacular job and I’m going to support her in her efforts.”

Among those staying in the race, Linda Rosa of Revere’s Point of Pines was the first out of the gate.

Rosa was a city councillor in Revere for several years and worked at the State House for former Sen. President Bob Travaglini before retiring.

Rosa said this week she is ready to run an active campaign and to put her full effort behind the fight.

Another State House veteran staffer, Vincent, pulled the trigger on a run over the weekend after strong indications from the get-go that she would be a candidate.

Vincent is Reinstein’s current chief of staff and has worked in that capacity for Reinstein or her late father, Bill, for the last 25 years. After being behind the scenes for decades, she said she’s ready for the spotlight.

“I never envisioned myself running for office but the circumstances really made me consider it and the overwhelming support I’ve received since played a big part in making a final decision,” said Vincent.  “People recognize this a critical time in our city’s history, one where knowledge of the issues and of how state government works is essential to our next Representative succeeding. Through my personal involvement in the community and my professional experience on Beacon Hill, I understand the challenges ahead and know firsthand what it takes to accomplish things at the state level.”

Vincent – who is also related to Giannino – is a life-long resident of Revere and has spent most of her life in the Ward 6 area. However, she has recently moved with her husband, Rich, to the St. George on Revere Beach.

Vincent, so far, has been the most active candidate in the early going, appearing at several events and gathering signatures and stumping for support.

Former City Councillor George Rotondo – a mayoral candidate two years ago in Revere – has thrown his hat in the ring as well.

Rotondo said on Monday that he plans to run a vigorous campaign, with a good deal of advertising and publicity.

While he said he plans to raise some money in short time, most of his campaign would be self-financed.

Finally, Chelsea attorney and Harvard University graduate Josh Monahan has made things official, taking his papers out on Monday for a run at the office.

Monahan is a Chelsea High School graduate who attended Harvard and got his law degree from Suffolk University. He also has worked a good deal in public policy and municipal policy – doing stints for the City of Chelsea Planning Department and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).

Monahan has already established a website and Facebook page and plans to update it frequently with policy points. He also plans to hold a handful of campaign events in the short window.

“I have launched my campaign for the 16th Suffolk Rep Seat and pulled my papers Monday morning,” he said.

Anyone interested in running can get papers in Boston from the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office. They can be mailed to any candidate as well. Candidates have to get 150 signatures from registered voters in the district and have them turned in by Jan. 27 to get on the ballot.

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