Monday, January 24, 2011

Who Could Be Mayor?

I was recently asked:

"I would like to see an analysis from A View from Battleship Cove, of the current state delegation or School Committee or City Council or even wild card non-politicians that might enter the race who would actually stand a chance at beating Flanagan?"

Well as of today, right now, the simple short answer would be no one. I think Will is very vulnerable but I don't know if I see any candidates who successfully exploit that and beat him. But let's take a look at some "potential" candidates and ponder their chances.

On the School Committee...

The only member of the school committee that I think is even remotely possible is Mark Costa. Although my proofreader points out the chairman has a pretty good shot. Back to Mark.. I think Mark has all those qualities that make for a good candidate. He's likable, communicates well, shows passion, seems sincere. At one time the Herald News speculated he could be a candidate for Mayor in 2007, despite only having served one term on the school committee! I think that would have been overly ambitious. Now I think Mark faces the opposite problem, if he's looking to jump to higher office he hasn't been ambitious enough, at least not to make a run for Mayor. He was elected to the school committee in 2005 and he's never shown any interest in making a run for council despite having good opportunities in 2007 and 2009.

Lefty's View: I think Mark is better off, at least for the time being, sticking to the school committee.

Amongst the City Council....

On the City Council there are four names I've heard bandied about: Brad Kilby, Eric Poulin, Ray Mitchell, and Linda Pereira.

Honestly, I would rule Linda right out. She didn't do well in her run against Sullivan. I'm pretty sure she finished in the bottom half of the pack in the last council race. I'm not sure she has enough of a base to even make a run for Mayor credible.

Lefty's View: Reelection to the council is almost certain.

Ray Mitchell is enjoying a rather nice comeback. He was the top voter getter in the last council race, he's the newly elected Council Vice-President. Is a run for Mayor in the cards? I think Mitchell is very content with serving on the Council and I think Mitchell wants to be involved.

Lefty's View: Why risk a strong chance at re-election to the City Council with a long shot at the 6th floor?

Of course, there are a lot of people who would like to see Eric Poulin take another stab at the Mayor's office. Heck I may even be one of them, but right now is not the time. Eric is probably the most interesting election to our City Council. When he ran in 2009, he did so with very little political capital, just really the name recognition he built in his race in 2007. Eric ran few ads, few commercials, and used no signs or bumper stickers. Eric was elected not because he had the support of the powers-that-be but because he ran a real grassroots campaign.

Lefty's View: Poulin will need to put a few more council terms behind him before those grassroots become solid enough to support a mayoral bid.

Of course Brad Kilby also ran for Mayor in 2007. I've said this before that Kilby didn't communicate his platform well enough, didn't connect with people well enough in that bid. Now Brad won reelection to the council in 2009 running a very low key campaign. Yet, Brad was one of the top vote getters, which tells me that he has a strong support amongst the voters.

Lefty's View: Brad remains in my mind a strong potential challenger. He does need to work on connecting with people but I see a lot about Kilby's 2007 run and the state of the city today that could be real assets if he decided to become a candidate in 2011.

Our local delegation...

Amongst our local delegation neither Senator Rodrigues or Representative Schmid our eligible to run for Mayor. That leaves Representatives David Sullivan and Kevin Aguiar.

I've been hearing gripes that Kevin Aguiar hasn't been attentive enough to his constituents. Though Aguiar won reelection he did so after winning a fairly close primary contest.

Lefty's View: Kevin served several terms on the School Committee and has a core of support but he he hasn't proven himself yet in Boston and he's always dogged with accusations that would be sure to resurface if he decided to run for Mayor.

My first thoughts on Dave Sullivan were that he is a lot like Eric Poulin. He doesn't seem to be the favorite of the powers-that-be but he's a sincere and hard working politician. He's also a bit like Kilby, in that he needs to work on communication his platform and reaching people more effectively. However I may not be giving enough credit to Representative Sullivan.

Lefty's View: In 2007 Dave made it through through the primaries and raised enough money to be competitive with Bob Correia. No small feat in such a crowded field. I'm thinking Dave could certainly be a strong challenger if he decided to run in 2011, but would he want to risk his seat in Boston?

From the Outside Looking In....

Former City Councilor Cathy Ann Viveiros has been seen as Mayor Flanagan's most likely challenger. Not only is Cathy Ann intelligent and capable, she comes across that way. Cathy Ann can articulate her points and hold her own in a debate. Honestly I thought she out-debated Will in 2009. Cathy-Ann however faces several problems. She is currently not holding any office and that hurts her credibility somewhat. She also has run several times before without winning. That gives her the perception of someone who can't win, and somebody who maybe wants the office a little too much.

Lefty's View: I have no doubts that Cathy-Ann will enter the ring but to win she's going to need to come out hard, run very aggressively, and find a way to build up enough of a campaign war chest.

Stefani Koorey is a local activist and Lizzie Borden aficionado. Stefani is very intelligent and very articulate. She offers the perspective of an outsider, which to me means she sees the potential and isn't caught up in some of the defeatist attitudes we usually see. She also has a passion for Fall River's history. I think the combination gives us someone who sees how the city could move forward but is going to be respectful and protective of its past. However she faces huge challenges in fund-raising, name recognition, and just being considered a serious candidate.

Lefty's View: Honestly in the past I would have ruled her chances as being "zilch". However two years ago I looked at Will Flanagan as someone had never had local political office, had no name recognition, and figured he had no chance. Of course he's now Mayor! I also thought his message was vague and lacked substance. That is not something I would say about Koorey.

In the end, I think a crowded field will certainly hand Flanagan a reelection win. If the field remains small the right challenger could make it a race.


Anonymous said...

What about Dave Dennis? I'm not sure he has a shot but he is one name that was mentioned as a potential in the Herald News and would like to hear your analysis.

Lefty, I have to say that this analysis is better than anything that has been in the Herald. They did a pretty lousy and short article on rumored candidates Kilby, Mitchell and Dennis and honestly I had never even heard one single rumor that Mitchell was interested.

I think Sullivan would be the strongest opponent, he would lose the debates but could raise money. The next strongest challengers would be Poulin then Kilby. Both likeable, Poulin would probably win a debate but can't fundraise. Kilby can't communicate well and can't fundraise but he seems to have such strong likeability. Like you said, I barely remember him campaigning at all for Council this past election and he finished in the top. Guys like Poulin and Mitchell seemed to be at the opening of an envelope the last time around when they ran for council which I guess is the old school low budget way of doing things. Kilby did none of that and was sooo strong in his finish.

The rest that you mention I just don't see as credible challengers, no offense to Stefanie Koorey, just don't know much about her. Mark Costa started off strong on the School Committee but has all but disappeared. He is a huge disappointment to me, so much potential at first but now content to just fly under the radar and not make waves. He may win mayor one day but he will wait his turn and be a successful Fall River career politician. Yuck!

I agree with you about Linda Pereira but what about Joe Camara? I've heard his name mentioned for Mayor but my thoughts are he would stand the same chance as Linda. Maybe you think differently?

Cathy Ann will likely make the run again but has no shot. Smart lady, she just can't take a hint that the voters don't see her or want her as their mayor.

Lefty said...

Thank you! I have to admit this post has been a pain in the ass to put together, just because it is was such a long one.

I never really considered Dave Dennis. Maybe I should have, but he lost his run for council and lost in the primary for state rep. I'm not sure you can spin that into a legitimate mayoral run.

I think Sullivan could be a really strong challenger but I can't see him risking his seat.

I don't see Joe Camara making a run, and I agree if he did his chances would about the same as Linda's.

Stefani Koorey will be fun to watch. I'm not sure she'll be taken as a serious candidate or not, but she will certainly make the debates something to watch.

I'd love to see Cathy Ann make a race of it, but for my money Sullivan OR Kilby would be the strongest challengers.

Anonymous said...

If Flanagan is really going to run for higher office next time around I don't see Sullivan running against him, aren't they in the same camp?

Anonymous said...

That last question is a good one. I think after Flanagan kept everyone other than Joan Menard in the dark about his casinos plans I would doubt that he has a friend left in the rest of the delegation. If you don't inform Sullivan, Aguiar or Rodrigues about what is going on it kind of makes it hard for them to support you. But who knows, maybe they have all kissed and made up at this point?

Faye Musselman said...

Carolyn Burton, local realtor, just announced her mayoral candidacy. She must know a ton of people in the city and already formed solid alliances. I think it's going to be a crowded field this year. I agree Koorey will not be taken seriously. Opponents will trumpet two words repeatedly in debates: "Lizzie Borden" which is a turn off to so many FR residents, though not to those interested in the case which is so much a part of FR. However, that doesn't translate to gainiing votes.

Flanagan has the definite advantage for reasons you stated. Besides he has the Karams behind him and they have been a powerful force manipulating the underbelly of FR politics for decades!

Anonymous said...

Who are you agreeing with Faye? No one said Stefani will not be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

The Karams are behind Flanagan? Perhap while he is in office that doesn't mean they won't back someone they think can remove him.

Faye seems obsessed with Koorey.

Lefty said...

I would agree. It seems most of the local 'movers & shakers' support all the local politicians.

And to the point of credibility, most of the people I mentioned here have face the challenge of being considered a credible candidate. Cathy Ann is a good example. Sure she's experienced and intelligent, and has plenty of name recognition, but can she raise the type of money needed to compete against an incumbent who is promising to "shock and awe" his opponents? If not people will doubt her ability to win and doubt whether or not she's a credible candidate.

Faye Musselman said...

No, I'm not "obsessed" with Koorey. I just don't like her any more than she likes me. I think she's full of herself and one who has exploited her volunteer work to advance her own agenda. She touts transparency but has yet to answer questions about what she does for a living. Most people I know in Fall River, long time residents in their 50's and 60's and older, think she's a joke. I've been her Nemesis for over 10 years and there's a long history. When the opportunity presents itself, I aim to expose her and call her out. You would be suprised to know the shit she's pulled because of her fear of my doing just that. The one characteristic in people I detest the most is phoniness. I am direct and couldn't give a rat's ass what people think of me. Especially those who are too chicken shit to expose who THEY really are.

Anonymous said...

Faye, how old are you anyway? You sound like a teenager. Or still in high school. I think you must be in love.

Anonymous said...

No one cares about either Koorey or Musselman. I don't know either other than they both fancy themselves Lizzie Borden "scholars." LMAO, What a joke! Two gals that need something better to do besides constantly engaging in an over the internet catfight.

Faye Musselman said...

Since you asked, I'll give you a direct answer: I'm 66 years old. On December 16, 2010 I became a first time grandmother and my 41 son a first time father. You can check out our family pictures on my Facebook page.

I'm in a relationship, and yes, I'd say we both love each other. Being "in love" is something else, though now, isn't it?

Oh, and in case you're still wondering, I'm blood type 0 positive, a Capricorn, a Democrat, and peppermint and vinegar run thru my veins. Anything else? Click my name to read more About Me.

Anonymous said...

God bless you Faye! Enjoy your new granchild. Spend as much time with your grandchild spreading love and less time on these forums spreading hate toward someone, however justified you may feel you are - I guarantee you that you will be happier in the end. Whatever Ms. Koorey has done to you or you believe she has done to you I do have to admit that after reading some of the back and forth comments it does cross the line into what seems to be catfight territory. I'm sure as a classy 66 year old woman you want to set a better example :)

Lefty said...


I'm afraid I can see this getting out of hand.

I'm aware of the dislike Faye has for Ms. Koorey, however I am hoping that that personal dislike will not find its way onto the comment section of this blog.

Faye, I more than welcome your opinion but ask that if you want to criticize Stefani that it be specifically related to her run for mayor or public activism.

Personally I don't think that will be a problem. I took no offense to Faye's initial comment about credibility. Subsequent comments I may have had some issue with but felt they were direct responses to comments addressed to Faye.

The last thing I want to see is a lot of back and forth attacks that do nothing to further the conversation.

It Said said...

Can we get back to the topic and hand and let the estorgen settle a bit?

Stefaine Koorey seems like a perfectly nice person..but there are not enough voters in Fall River that are as liberal as she is..ask Steve Camara what happens when that becomes your one and only voter block.

What no one has pointed out is that Al Lima is Koorey's campaign manager, which represents a break with one of Flanagan's key groups of support, the neighberhood associations that in part helped select Dan Racine as the police chief.

The Karams support Flanagan? Really? Since When? Bob and Jim contribute to everybody so their bases are covered..nothing more..

Like many people, I'd like to see Eric Poulin give a run at the Mayor's office another shot..but he nearly bankrupted himself a couple of years ago..until he has a solid base of financial support, running for the top gig a second time would be a suicide mission..

Brad Kilby would be an interesting challenger, but why did he vote for the Lund/Mitchell combo last month? What's up with that? Is being mayor something he really wants?

Anonymous said...

Faye, I understand that you do not like Koorey, however, she is a Fall River resident. Are you? If not, why are you involving yourself so much in our politics.
I believe you are a resident of the state of Arizona. Isn't there enough out there to keep you busy?

And, this is not in defense of Koorey; I don't know the woman, only what I've read.

Faye Musselman said...

To Anon, 1/31 @8:47 am

No, I don't live in Fall River. I don't live in Portland, Oregon, Long Beach, Calif, or Washington D.C., but I am very interested in the politics of all those cities.

As I've posted to the FRHN online in response to this same question: I've followed FR politics for 40 years; I've studied its history for 40 years. I have many long time friends there; visit there 3-5 times a year; and recently our family purchased some investment property in Fall River through our family trust which, since my father's death last year, my mother now controls. The property is an asset in the Trust and as I'm named in the family trust, technically it could be said I own property in Fall River. The Trust pays the property tax.

I CARE about Fall River as I do about Portland, Oregon. I really like the city and lament over what it has become since I first visited in 1977.

A surge in FR's economy can partially be accomplished by attracting new business and new residents, i.e., homeowners, that can would be vested and contribute to the betterment of the community. It could be said that such potential businesses and potential new homeowners currently live out of State. And if they are interested in the local politics as a factor in their decision to bring new business there or become residents there, would you rebuff their interest because they are not, now, Fall Riverites?

So when you question my interest in Fall River politics, please take the above facts into consideration. thanks

Anonymous said...

It Said, my predictions are Bigelow off the council soon due to resignation. He doesn't seem to be going to meetings and that can only last so long before someone catches on.

I also caught the last meeting and they said Pat Casey had some health issues. I hope she is okay but might she too have to step down due to those issues?

I bring up Bigelow and Casey because that would open up 2 spots on the council for people like Mike Miozza and others and I think there are probably at least another 2 spots that are vulnerable, possibly Joe Camara and Linda Pereira because I heard they had a low finish in the last council race and I keep hearing like Bigelow that they had a run in with police that people are saying will come back to haunt them.

For mayor, Kilby seems to be a smart man but when it comes to being on the council it doesn't seem from my watching meetings on tv like he speaks very much or files any resolutions on any issues. If he is afraid of heavy lifting and campaigning hard he will end up like Bill Whitty and will be respected as a councilor but never as mayoral material. Poulin is intriguing, just when I think I have him figured out I don't. He seems to be the fairest one, listens to both sides on issues and makes up his own mind sometimes voting with the mayor and sometimes calling him out. He will never win anything big unless the big shots in the city start jumping on his bandwagon, like the Tony Cordeiros and Karams of the world and that will only happen if they think he has the potential to be a frontrunner and actually win a major election. I'm not sure he is there yet or ever will be. He just seems like one of these grassroots people that might have a following but not a big enough of one to ever build a true political machine that can take a big election.