This year’s Chelsea tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Chelsea Senior Center on Riley Way had a political twist.
Everett Councilor Sal DiDomenico and former Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Tim Flaherty added some luster to the event as they made their way around the crowd of dignitaries, officials and residents – about 150 in all – who came together for the annual event to honor the Reverend Dr. King.
“I am officially a candidate for the senate seat vacated by Anthony Galluccio,” DiDomenico told the Chelsea Record.
DiDomenico was Galluccio’s chief of staff.
The well-liked, popular councilor said he will be gearing up for a major effort in the next few weeks.
He has intimated he will have th
e support of most of the Everett City Council, a considerable achievement, and that he will build his campaign off that. Also, he said his family’s long relationship with Cambridge – they own a business there for the past 50 years – will aid him as he campaigns there.
Everett and Cambridge are perhaps the two key voting places in the sprawling senate district.
However, Chelsea remains an important community for anyone wanting to be the next senator.
Candidate Tim Flaherty campaigned at the senior center, introducing himself to many local residents.
Flaherty gained name recognition here and throughout the senate district the last time around when he ran against Galluccio.
That name recognition and his early entrance into the contest is perceived as giving him an edge over DiDomenico and the other candidates, Dan Hill, a Charlestown lawyer, Michael Albano, a Chelsea realtor and Cambridge City Councillor Marjorie Decker.
Galluccio was extremely popular in Chelsea.
Flaherty has already set up a campaign staff and is issuing press releases, as he did last week with a timely, eye catching talk piece on the controversy surrounding LNG tankers and their free entry into Boston harbor on their way to dockage in Everett.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash, House Speaker Robert DeLeo are all urging anti-terrorism officials to turn away the LNG tanker ready to enter the harbor until such time as federal officials have had a chance to check out the ship’s crew and ownership.
The race for Galluccio’s seat will inevitably be about money and the ability to raise large sums of it.
Political observers believe it will take $150,000 – $200,000 to run a full fledged, all out campaign.
Flaherty appears to have the early lead in raising money and paying for the campaign apparatus to make such an effort a reality.
DiDomenico told the Chelsea Record last week he will be able to raise the money necessary to run his campaign.
The campaign will be all about either splitting and capturing the vote in Everett and Cambridge, and then scoring victories in Chelsea and Charlestown, with lesser votes in Allston and Brighton and Somerville and Saugus. A small part of Revere is also part of this district.
How the candidacies of Decker, Albano and Hill will affect the race are anyone’s guess right now.
This is for sure, Flaherty and DiDomenico look like up front leaders for Galluccio’s seat.