In case you missed it, there was an election Thursday night. Just under 11 percent of Boston voters bothered to take part in the State Primary.
Rather than bitching about the dismal showing among voters at the polls, I think the better question is “How did 10 percent of the population convince themselves that this election was worth the effort of casting a ballot?”
Two of the three Suffolk County Court Clerk races provide the most entertainment among the state primaries, specifically because there was no competition among the state legislators from Boston, with incompetent buffoons hoping to capitalize on voter apathy.
With a narrow two percent lead, Patty Campatelli defeated Sal LaMattina for the Suffolk County Probate Clerk, 15,765 votes to 15,154.
The race would not have normally warranted much attention if it weren’t for the fact that it featured LaMattina’s spectacularly failed attempt to leave the City Council for a higher-paying gig, despite the fact that LaMattina had stronger name recognition and the support of City Hall, not to mention over five times the financial expenditures.
In the last two weeks of August, LaMattina was sinking $26,000 into his campaign, which was primarily spent on a massive letter campaign. This cash splurge was really just the crescendo of a campaign that sunk $68,103 into the failed effort to escape the Council.
Just before the election, Stephen Murphy, Mark Ciommo, Mike Ross and Rob Consalvo
each chipped in $100 from their own reelection campaigns to get LaMattina off the Council.
In contrast, Campatelli, whose campaign began in February, spent a total of $12,792.70 through the end of August.
So basically, LaMattina spent a shitload of cash so that the Suffolk County voters would better know him as a candidate, which was enough information to vote against him.
The secret to Hennigan’s successful electoral defense of her seat as Suffolk County Clerk Magistrate for Criminal Courts, was less people bothering to come to the polls.
Hennigan first gained her seat in the 2006 defeat of Dello Russo. In that election, Hennigan resurrected a political career from Mayor Thomas Menino’s 2005 squash victory.
Hennigan defeated Assistant Clerk Bob Dello Russo 42, 952 to 36,444.
Six years later, Hennigan was once again defending against Dello Russo. This time, she was also having to fend off attacks from her being caught using her office in violation of state campaigning laws, spending a lot of time not working and allowing an alleged criminal to get out from a clerical error.
Last week, Hennigan won 21,167 to 13,638 – a combined voter turnout that is less than what either candidate pulled in 2006.
Just for the sake of consistency I’ll include that incumbent Suffolk County Civil Courts Clerk Michael Donovan trounced challenger Michael Dash, 21,181 votes to 7,942.
There weren’t any upsets nor were there any open seats among the Boston State Legislation delegation.
Gloria Fox (1,369 votes) easily kept her State Rep. seat in the 7th Suffolk against challengers Rufus Faulk (494) and Jed Hresko (199).
State Rep. Angelo Scaccia of the 14th Suffolk, effortlessly pulled 1,984 votes to dispatch challenger Anthony Solimine and his 593 votes.
It also wouldn’t have surprised me if Sonia Chang-Diaz slept through her landslide win over Roy Owens. As history has shown, Owens is much better sending his opponent back to office than he is at actually voting an election.
In the Governor Council’s race for District 2, Robert Jubinville finally came out on top after two previous failed attempts against former Council member Kelly Timilty.
Jubinville won with 35 percent of the vote in the four-way race that also included Bart Timilty, who placed second with the help of his sister’s name recognition, Brian Clinton who placed third by forgetting that most of District 2 is outside of Boston, and finally Patrick McCabe who campaigned by writing a blog on Patch.com.
It’s easy to make the case that Jubinville bought the seat, when you consider that in that final weeks of the campaign, he dumped $82,742 of his own cash in loans into his campaign for a seat that only pays about $26,000 a year.