Thursday’s primary, replacing the traditional first Tuesday of September primary, is not expected to bring out a major vote.
Although there are several races East Boston voters should be interested in – primary among them Suffolk County Clerk of Probate and Suffolk County Superior Court Clerk as well as the District 6 Governor’s Council race – interest in the various races is considered slim.
Secretary of State William Galvin said he is expecting a lower than usual voter turnout because of a large number of what are considered lackluster races. He predicts that turnout at 15 percent statewide and in some places even lower.
Local voters are being prodded by the various candidates to get out and to vote with most candidates believed to be relying on their name recognition and loyalists to cast ballots that will put them over the top.
Another reason voting will be lower than usual. According to Galvin, is the Thursday date instead of the traditional Tuesday primary.
Galvin said the change was made due to timing. According to federal law, he is required to call for an election at least 45 days in advance. However holding the election later this month would not allow enough time for challenges to election results, he said.
Tuesday this week would also have been difficult because election workers would have needed to be called in on the Monday holiday.
The state has held elections twice before on Thursday – in 1988 and 1964 for the same reasons.
Voters will find three ballots. Democratic, Republican and Green Rainbow Party.
East Boston voters will find the Democratic ballot includes those Democrats without a primary race including Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Mike Capuano, and State Senator Anthony Petruccelli.
Those with a race includes Terrence Kennedy and Chip Flaherty for District 6.
The two major races are for Clerk Maura Hennigan versus Robert Dello Russo for Suffolk County Superior Court Criminal Clerk and Boston City Councillor Sal LaMattina versus Patty Campatelli for Suffolk County Probate Clerk.
The LaMattina/Campatelli race has been punctuated by rather boisterous attacks on LaMattina by Campatelli. In live appearances and on the Internet, Campatelli has denounced LaMattina and those supporting his candidacy.
LaMattina has yet to mention Campatelli’s candidacy and has chosen to talk about the roll of the Probate Clerk and how to streamline the department and to serve attorneys and everyone else relying upon the clerk’s office.
It is believed that name recognition is what will decide the election. Higher name recognition such as that enjoyed by LaMattina is a definite advantage, according to those watching this race closely.
Temperament is also an important consideration and in that department it is largely believed that LaMattina has a big edge as has been shown by his media message and campaign literature.
The Green Rainbow Party also has a ballot but without any candidates listed on it.
The Dello Russo-Hennigan race has turned into a difficult battle between two people who both know the position very well – one, Hennigan, an incumbent with decades of service to the people of Boston and Suffolk County and Dello Russo, who worked for many years as an assistant clerk in Hennigan’s office.
Hennigan says Dello Russo is unfit – a political appointee without qualifications.
Dello Russo has countered with claims that Hennigan’s recent run-in with the Ethic’s Department is evocative of the kind of office she runs.
Whatever the outcome, it will be decided by a small vote of the faithful.
Hennigan is believed to have the edge because of name recognition but Dello Russo has been coming on strong.