Chelsea residents going to the polls next Thursday have two options when voting for Suffolk County Register of Probate.
Boston City Councillor Sal LaMattina is one possible choice.
Patricia Campatelli is the other.
The Register position race is one of Suffolk County’s best kept secrets.
The expectation when all is said and done is that a very small vote will elect the next register, who will be filling the position formerly held by Richard Ianella, who gave up the job to enter the private sector.
LaMattina and Campatelli are both Democrats.
LaMattina is the better known of the two candidates who are both from East Boston.
As a Boston City Councillor representing District 1 since 2006, LaMattina is well known and a proven political winner in Charlestown, East Boston and the North End..
Campatelli, who has never held public office, is currently the statewide program supervisor for the Office of Community Corrections.
The County Register post oversees wills, adoptions, divorces and child custody. The post pays $110,000 a year.
It is currently held by Sandra Giovannucci, a former deputy assistant register. She has held the post since April, 2011 and has served as a temporary replacement for Ianella, who resigned earlier n 2011.
LaMattina has been working for the City of Boston and for the people of Suffolk County in most of its neighborhoods since 1999 when he was appointed by Mayor Thomas Menino as the director of operations for the Boston Transportation Department.
LaMattina says he has the management skills, the proven ability and the personality for the job.
“I know how to deal with a crush of work. And I learned on the job how to run a big city department that operated with 30 fewer employees by the time I was elected city councilor. So I know something about how to use personnel and more importantly, how to deal with employees in order to run a complex and important department. The Probate Court is just such a place,” he said.
“I can modernize the Probate Department. I believe I have the ability to bring positive change to the department and that my reach to the lawmakers makes it possible for me to persuade them to increase staff and budgeting,” he added.
“I am looking forward to this challenge.”
Campatelli, 48, has served in several positions in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and the state Office of Community Corrections.
She said she is familiar with the running of the Probate Department and that she is perfectly qualified to run the office.
She faces an uphill battle with LaMattina as this election is all about name recognition.
As a six year Boston City Councillor, LaMattina has that significant edge.