It could be said that two potential political superstars emerged on Election Night in East Boston.
At 26 years old Adrian Madaro was elected state representative and with his youth, impeccable academic credentials, knowledge of the issues, and personality, the sky is the limit in Massachusetts politics and beyond.
And then there was the other shining young star, Liana LaMattina, who guided this now legendary campaign from its start in December to its crowning moment on March 31 when Madaro captured 90 per cent of the vote.
Madaro showed his appreciation to LaMattina at his victory party, saying he had “the best campaign team any guy could ask for.” Both LaMattina and volunteer coordinator Gabriella Coletta received flowers from the victorious candidate.
At 23 years old, LaMattina is just one year removed from her graduation from Boston University where she received a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Organizational Behavior. Like Madaro, she is a graduate of the Boston Latin School. Though this was her first foray into the management of campaigns, she is no stranger to Election Night successes. Her father, Sal LaMattina, is a popular Boston city councilor who has represented East Boston since 2006.
On Election Night, Sal LaMattina was one proud father.
“She did a good job,” said LaMattina. “She worked very hard. She was up every day early in the morning and would come home late at night. I’m very proud of her and her work ethic during the campaign. She really impressed me. She’s a determined woman who made her daddy proud. I’m looking forward to working with new representative and my daughter on issues that are important to the neighborhood. (Madaro announced that Liana LaMattina will be a legislative aide on his staff).”
LaMattina said she spoke to her father before deciding to accept the position as campaign manager.
“My father said to me, ‘You are your own woman and that is your decision and I am staying out of this – that is my decision.’”
Adrian Madaro asked Liana LaMattina to be his campaign manager after he learned that Rep. Carlo Basile would be joining the Governor Charlie Baker Administration and there would be a special election.
LaMattina, who was working for Mayor Thomas Menino at the Initiative on Cities at Boston University and had continued to work at BU following Menino’s passing, left that position to devote all her energies to the Madaro for State Representative Campaign.
One of her first actions was bringing her friend, Gabriella “Gigi” Coletta, on board as the campaign’s volunteer coordinator.
“We’ve been friends since we were teenagers and I knew she was very passionate about politics and I knew she was someone I could trust,” said LaMattina.
What lied ahead was a highly competitive Democratic primary with five strong candidates. LaMattina knew the weeks ahead would be “nerve wracking” and intense.
“Both Adrian and I went all in,” said LaMattina. “And especially with Adrian being a close, personal friend of mine, I really wanted to give it my all.”
LaMattina assumed command of many responsibilities including organizing Madaro’s daily schedule and volunteers, and coordinating efforts with Sage Systems on such important aspects as the graphics for campaign signs, newspaper advertisement, campaign literature, political canvassing, and events.
“My role was more of the analytical and strategical background and making sure that everything that needed to be done was done,” said LaMattina.
LaMattina said a key to the success of the campaign was bringing together volunteers from diverse backgrounds and age groups.
“I think that was the best part of this campaign – I have never witnessed such passionate volunteers,” said LaMattina. “It was truly their passion that was their main motivator. We had people who were born and raised in East Boston to young professionals to the Latino community to all communities – from all walks of life.”
One thing that LaMattina believed in wholeheartedly was the candidate himself, Adrian Madaro.
“We had a great candidate. I believed that Adrian was the most qualified. Older voters kept saying us to that we were ‘the next generation.’ “You are the new leaders. Residents loved seeing how young people, Gigi is only 22, I’m 23, Adrian is 26, were involved in this campaign. They said, ‘We need young people in government and new ideas for our community.’’’
LaMattina said she and Madaro exchanged ideas about campaign strategy and pushed each other to work hard at all times, even in the snowiest winter in city history.
“Whether it was standing outside Dunkin Donuts at 7 a.m. in the snow or staying up late at night going through emails and organizing information – yes, the weather played a role in the campaign, but regardless, I still pushed Adrian to go door knocking in the snow, even with the five-foot tall piles. He was still out there three to six hours a day about five days a week, sometimes more.”
Political observers say Liana LaMattina showed experience beyond years in her leadership role. With no incumbent in the field and the seat truly up for grabs, LaMattina led a flawless campaign that was professional, accessible, well-publicized, vibrant, and exciting – and it all came together on March 3 when Madaro took 42 percent of the vote to defeat Joseph Ruggiero, Ed Deveau, Lou Scapicchio, and Camilo Hernandez.”
To the credit of Madaro and LaMattina, they maintained maintained the same pace in the general election, resulting in a substantial margin of victory.
LaMattina said she never expected to be part of a political campaign following her graduation from BU.
“I never thought I’d been involved in a campaign. I thought I’d be in California doing sales, working insurance. I actually had a job offer from Prudential. But I realized – and this comes from the influence of Mayor Menino – that I wasn’t helping people by doing that. I wanted to do something that helped people and I was trying to figure where I was going. This opportunity happened with Adrian and I jumped right on it.”
Adrian Madaro, for one, is glad that Liana LaMattina came on board and ran the show.
“I just couldn’t have asked for a better campaign manager,” said Madaro. “She really is a dynamo, just full of energy, so bright, driven, precocious – 23 years old and this is what she was able to accomplish.
“This was the biggest decision I can make in my professional career – who was going to be my campaign manager – and I didn’t have Plan B after Liana. If that doesn’t speak volumes about how I feel about her – that I entrusted her with my future like that – and she did not disappoint. We have been friends throughout childhood, we used to karate together, and attended Boston Latin School together.
Madaro said that combination of factors led to his calling upon LaMattina to manage the campaign.
“No. 1, she’s super bright. No. 2, she’s very driven and organized. And No. 3, she understands politics and how to operate within that domain. Most importantly, she’s very loyal and I knew I could trust her.”
Today that dream team of State Representative Adrian Madaro and campaign manager extraordinaire Liana LaMattina becomes East Boston’s t
eam at the Statehouse.
The future is exceedingly bright for all.