City Councilor Sal LaMattina is seriously considering leaving his post as Ward I City Councilor to run for Register of Suffolk County’s Probate and Family Court seat vacated by Richard Ianella.
The announcement has set off a flurry of activity among those who might be considering running for the vacated city council seat should LaMattina run and subsequently win.
Local resident Dan Ryan, Congressman Mike Capuano’s chief aide, is said to be seriously considering a close look at all the possibilities.
When he was just starting out, LaMattina beat Ryan by a small margin in a hotly contested race.
Ryan was able to bring out a huge vote in Charlestown coming about 152 votes away from capturing the seat.
LaMattina’s expected strong vote in East Boston and the North End was the difference.
The mayor’s assistant in East Boston, Harvard educated Ernani DeAraujo is believed to be considering a run as well.
If he has the mayor’s blessing, he would emerge as a strong candidate.
Charlestown’s Jack Kelly, who formerly worked for city hall here, is also considering his options.
LaMattina, a life-long resident of East Boston, who represents Charlestown, the North End and East Boston, was first elected to the Council in 2006 and serves as the Council’s Vice-President.
LaMattina met with top political advisors Monday to discuss a possible run for the Register of Probate seat.
“Yes, I am currently exploring a possible run for Register of Probate,” said LaMattina Tuesday. “This will not be a decision I take lightly and will talk with family and friends over the next few days to see if this makes sense politically and for my future.”
Already several other candidates have expressed interest in the seat including East Boston’s Patty Campatelli who is currently the Statewide Program Supervisor at Massachusetts Trial Court.
Her experience in the court and prison system (she was the former Assistant Deputy Superintendent at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department) outweighs LaMattina’s experience in the courts but LaMattina political popularity in the District is unparalleled.
Both LaMattina and Campatelli have widespread political allies in the neighborhood and are both close with top fundraisers in the area like former Senate President Robert Travaglini.
Where political allegiances will lie once campaigning for the seat begins is anyone’s guess.
Campatelli could not be reached for comment by press time but has already established a Facebook page announcing her candidacy that had over 250 hits by Tuesday.
On the other hand LaMattina will officially make his decision by the end of the week.
If LaMattina is successful in his bid for Register of Probate Eastie could potentially lose the council seat for the first time since former City Councilor Paul Scapicchio beat incumbent Diane Modica in the 1990s and brought the seat out of the neighborhood for the first time since it was created. Scapicchio was a North Ender when he ran and beat Modica but eventually moved to Eastie in the later part of his political career thus returning the seat to the neighborhood.
With a small bench of potential candidates coming out of Eastie, it would be prime time for Dan Ryan, who lost to LaMattina by only 152 votes in 2006, to take another shot at the seat. Ryan, an aide for U.S. Congressman Michael Capuano who lives in Charlestown would be the biggest opponent for anyone thinking about running from Eastie and would be a formidable opponent in a Ward I City Council race.
Currently the office of Register of Probate and Family Court is being held by Sandra Giovannucci. who was appointed when Iannella retired.