^ entertaining the Seniors ; Josh Monahan, Linda Rosa, Roselee Vincent
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At least 150 Revere senior citizens (as we nicely entitle the old) got lots of entertainment last night from the three Democrats running for State Representative in the least publicized of Tuesday’s three Suffolk County special elections. At the Jack Satter House — a senior digs more luxe than many hotels — Roselee Vincent, Linda Rosa, and Josh Monahan explained their candidacies and answered questions — some way too snarky — from folks who have already seen a heckuva lot of candidates say their thing.
The three sounded as differently lethal as rock, paper, and scissors in that child’s game we all played, except that this was no game. The Representative from Revere (parts of Chelsea and Saugus are included as well) can’t play games, except for keeps, because Revere is a smallish place alongside huge Boston. Playing Mr. Nice Guy, it would get no attention.
Given the likely small number of voters who will cast ballots on Tuesday — Revere had its big voting night this past Tuesday, when close to 10,000 voted a big “Yes !” to the Mohegan Sun/Suffolk Downs casino proposal — the Jack Satter House Forum was practically the entire show. Thus the exaggerations, the differences, the almost attacks made by each upon the others. Forums I’ve attended in the Dorchester district holding a “special” have all been respectful affairs, no candidate going mano a man o with any other. Not so the Jack Satter Forum.
Roselee Vincent presented herself pretty much as already ON the job, so why not just vote to confirm it ? “For 25 years I have worked in the office that I now seek to hold,” she said, citing her service for both Kathi Reinstein — whose resignation to become Boston beer’s PR gal sparked this Special election — and her Dad, Bill Reinstein. Vincent listed her major endorsements too : Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo, School Committee Member Carol Tye, and of course Kathi Reinstein. Much applause confirmed that many in the room already support her; dark blue “Vincent” stick-ons could be seen on many attendees’ shirts.
Vincent then left for “a previous engagement, scheduled weeks ago” — she had already told me, in a conversation several nights ago, that this was the case — and her Revere rival, Linda Rosa, spoke next. “I’m the first woman ever elected a Revere Councillor City Wide,” said she, aggressive, very much the firebrand who one often hears in local government meetings. “We need a voice !”
It was her theme and she was sticking to it. Asked, quite snidely — by a Vincent person — what her first priority would be if elected, she said “making sure there’s no more Special elections like this one that cost the taxpayer. Make them serve their full term, or return the salary !”
For this response there was some approval from the attendees. I’ve heard many ordinary people — not only in the 16th District — voice similar sentiments.
It was hard to tell if the Vincent supporter was more surprised by Rosa’s answer or gleeful of it; in any case, he pressed his bet : “That’s your first priority ? OK, what’s your second ?
Rosa was ready. “We don’t need this Obamacare,” she said, sounding like a Tea party gal.” (This, said to 150 seniors !) The Vincent supporter grinned — he’d hit the jackpot. But the Forum moderator wasn’t having this battle of the two women. “What,” he asked young candidate Josh Monahan, a Chelsea resident, “is YOUR first priority ?
^ a Tea Party democrat ? Linda Rosa : ‘we don’t need this Obamacare !”
^ young man with future ideas : Josh Monahan
Monahan had already given his why-i-am-running speech. In it, he challenged the two women. “It’s well and good to talk about what you have done these past 26 years, but how about what you’re going to do next ? I’m 29 years old; I look to the future.” This had been exactly the speech that needed to be made after Vincent’s and Rosa’s recounting of past deeds; I could hardly wait to hear what first priority he would announce.
“Local aid,” he said. “It’s been cut back by 100 million over the past four years, cuts that have impacted local services to the bone. we need to increase local aid.”
Applause. And there was more. As Rosa was asked a second priority, so was Monahan. “Raising the minimum wage,” he said. And that was that; Forum complete.
The likely very few who vote on Tuesday must now know that they face three completely different candidacies. Monahan has a future agenda; Vincent equals continuation; Rosa will be the big, did-she-really-say-that ? voice. If you’re handicapping a result, look to the money raised. Vincent has outraised Monahan and Rosa combined several times over. Advantage, continuation.
In other words, Roselee Vincent wins. I would be surprised if she didn’t. Which is not to say that Josh Monahan, especially, isn’t an impressive candidate. He is.
But the Democratic primary is NOT the whole story. There is a Republican candidate running, Todd Taylor of Chelsea. he wasn’t included, evidently, in the Satter House Forum, which was a big mistake: whatever his candidacy may be about, he gets to announce it with less than three weeks before the April 1st election day. There will be little time for the Democratic nominee to respond — and, if her presentation at the Satter House was any indication, it would not surprise me one bit if Linda Rosa, assuming she isn’t nominated, ends up endorsing Taylor. The game in Revere is not over.
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere