Several Revere elected officials headed to the Casa Lucia last Thursday to join numerous residents and other elected officials from surrounding communities to lend support to the Republican Gubernatorial ticket of Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito.
In an area where things are distinctively “blue,” numerous Democrats turned out to support the Baker campaign at the rally and fundraiser sponsored by the Revere Republican City Committee (RRCC) and hosted by Jim and Lillian Guido. While it was a Revere-based event, the rally turned into a multi-city affair with people from Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose and Chelsea represented.
For Revere, many movers and shakers were seen there, and it showed perhaps a swing in the campaign locally. City Councillors Tony Zambuto, Charlie Patch and Brian Arrigo were in attendance, as were Economic Development Director John Festa, Police Chief Joe Cafarelli and Director of Finance George Anzuoni.
Mayor Dan Rizzo has made no vocal choice in the race, having previously endorsed State Treasurer Steve Grossman in the primary race. At this point, he has neither swung to either candidate.
For other cities, Everett City Councillors John Hanlon, Rosa DiFlorio and Cynthia Sarnie were in attendance. Malden Fire Chief Jack Colangeli and City Councillor Ken Coye attended.
Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash lent his support to the gathering as well.
Baker’s appearances in Revere, Chelsea, Winthrop and other surrounding communities come in stark contrast to the Democratic campaign of Martha Coakley – who has not yet been to Revere, visited Chelsea for the first time last week and has only made sparse appearances in Everett (and nothing recently).
RRCC members said the event really attracted many Democrats from the area who are not interested in supporting the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley.
“Charlie’s message appeals to a Republican like me, but it also appeals to a lot of Democrats, and we saw that at Thursday’s rally,” said Zambuto. “There were a lot of Democrats there and, historically, Democrats have often swung to voting for a Republican governor. That started with [former Gov. Francis] Sargent way back and continued up to Mitt Romney. We’ve had eight years of Deval Patrick now and a lot of Democrats aren’t happy. Martha Coakley is not that well liked. Some see her as not a good candidate. A lot the [Steve] Grossman supporters are now with us, not only in body and mind, but financially as well.”
RRCC member Bill Jackson said Baker comes across as a very nice man and has ideas – such as welfare reform – that speak to the frustrations of a lot of residents and elected officials in the area.
“First and foremost, he a very nice and respectful guy,” said Jackson. “When he speaks, that comes across. I think he’s going to be elected. I spoke to several people at the rally on Thursday and many said, ‘I’m a Democrat, but I’m going to vote for Charlie Baker because I like him.’ That’s the consensus of a lot of the folks that were there Thursday.”
Zambuto added that Baker appeals to local elected officials because he has spoken extensively about the need to increase and figure out a new system for doling out Local Aid.
“The reason mayors and local officials – even Democrats – are for him is because he’s talking about local aid for cities and towns,” said Zambuto. “He knows how important local aid is to local governments.”
RRCC member Joyce Kelly said the event last more than three hours and the energy was very real throughout.