By John Lynds and Seth Daniel
No Charlestown candidates have emerged, nor are any expected to emerge, for the District 1 Council race, but the two established, City Hall-employed, candidates – one from Eastie and one from the North End – have been joined this week by a long-time Eastie community activist in the race.
The biggest news of the week, however, came on Monday when strong candidate Michael Sinatra, the chief of staff for outgoing Councilor Sal LaMattina, announced he was withdrawing – narrowing the field to only two candidates – Lydia Edwards of Eastie and Steve Passacantilli of the North End.
That came just a week after two strong Charlestown candidates, Jack Kelly and James Lister, announced they were withdrawing too.
Sinatra, of Eastie, said he is getting married in August and the timing of the election just didn’t work out for him.
“After much discussion with my fiancée and family, I have decided to withdraw from the City Council race,” said Sinatra. “I am getting married in August, so I have many life events to look forward too in the coming months and I want to be able to enjoy this happy and exciting time in my life. With that in mind, it would be unfair to me as well as all the residents of District 1 if I cannot give this campaign the undivided attention that it deserves. Therefore, at this moment in time I have decided to explore other job opportunities that would allow me more time to spend with my new wife and family.”
Over the past week, both Edwards and Passacantilli – who both work at City Hall – were seen in and around Charlestown seemingly looking for ways to build alliances now that the local field had been cleared.
On Thursday, Passacantilli was spotted with Councilor LaMattina and friends at the Harvest on the Vine fundraiser.
One night later, Edwards was observed having quite a good time at the Bunker Hill Associates Trivia Night amongst hundreds of residents, helping out Team Softball with the trivia.
By Monday though, a salt of the Earth activist from Eastie emerged in Margaret Farmer, who pulled papers last week and made the run official Monday.
Farmer, who leads a civic group in Eastie, said she’s running on fixing issues common to the district, including traffic, school challenges, parks, public transportation and coastal flooding.
She quickly established herself as the anti-establishment candidate, closer to the people of the neighborhood and further from the confines of City Hall.
“The same problems that we in Jeffries Point live with, so does the entire Council District,” said Farmer. “Whether you live in Charlestown, Orient Heights, Eagle Hill;, Day Square, or the North End, you know personally what we have to live with, and what we do not have, but need. As our new Councillor, I will use my experience as a Neighborhood Association president to address the effects of city density, to devise innovative solutions when the opportunity avails, and to assure that the people who actually live with these challenges are heard whenever and wherever City planners have us in their sights. The same goes for State planners. Massport and Mass DOT control so many of our District’s neighborhoods. Decisions affecting us are made every week… As your councilor, I will never let these decisions be made without assuring the planners hear from you, the voters of our district.”