In the next few weeks, campaigning will be heavy as five candidates vie to be the one called ‘Mayor of Charlestown.’ In this week’s newspaper on page 6, Patty Kelley has written profiles of the candidates.
But for those Townies who seem to never forget a good political race, we reprint the 1988 race that went down to the wire.
Claire Lynch and the Race of ‘88
By: Alexandra Gandolfo
Few of the past mayoral races have been quite such nail biters as that of the 1988 race between Claire Lynch and Jim Carroll. With a margin of just 67 votes, Claire Lynch bested Jim Carroll with a grand total of 12,290 votes, causing the Knights of Columbus Hall to explode with excitement. At $1.00 a pop, both Claire and Jimmy ran a tight ship, enlisting their friends and family to help them by forming campaign committees that worked tirelessly to spread the word and sell as many tickets as they could get out there.
An aggressive campaign, Claire’s committee made themselves known in Kelly green sweatshirts with “Claire for Mayor” printed in white across the front and trolled the town, local store fronts, and nearby malls to ensnare patrons. Jimmy’s approach tended toward the male crowd, his committee aiming to those grouped together in the local pubs and earning a vote with every clink of the pilsner. In the end though, it was Claire’s mainly female committee that helped pull her just ever so slightly ahead to win the title of Mayor of Charlestown.
Reading through old articles of The Patriot, Townie fever was at an all time high. The race was not only a community undertaking, but a seriously organized and well-executed race. All candidates, not just Claire and Jimmy, brought the competition to an all time high by permeating the town with voter pleas while simultaneously coordinating fundraisers and events. The mayoral race of ’88 is one for the books and this year, hopefully, the mayoral race of ’14 will take a page from their book and bring it back to all it’s enthralling glory.