Revere Veterans Services Director Marc Silvestri had built some early momentum in his campaign for the state representative seat in the 19th Suffolk District.
Silvestri had garnered some major endorsements and loomed as a formidable candidate for the Winthrop/Revere seat previously held by Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.
But Silvestri’s campaign ended abruptly when the Supreme Judicial Court ruled on Jan. 26 that Silvestri had not reached the number of signatures (150) that he needed to qualify for the ballot.
And that was it for the highly decorated U.S. Army war veteran and one of Revere High’s greatest football players of all time.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster,” Silvestri said Monday. “I’m highly disappointed in the ruling. For the same Supreme Court that ruled on the [Robert] Goldstein filing that it was COVID-related and unconstitutional and the pre-COVID mandates dropped for everyone, including ballot questions.”
Silvestri did submit 180 signatures combined in Revere and Winthrop, but only 135 signatures were certified.
Silvestri added that “I went out and tried to get every signature myself and maybe that was a mistake.”
“I worked for the last 11 months on a COVID-19 response team telling people that they have to socially distance and they can’t be in each other’s homes,” said Silvestri. “I was faced with trying to get 150 signatures in a matter of two weeks and I’m not making an excuse. I turned in signatures. Some signatures weren’t certified. There’s no appeal process to the signatures in a special election, so my only course of action was to take it to the Supreme Court ask them to rule.”
Silvestri knew he was making progress in his campaign and he had rekindled the competitiveness and determination that he showed on the football field.
“Disappointment [about not qualifying for the ballot] would be an understatement, but there’s a lot of work still to be done for veterans in the community,” said Silvestri.
Last Friday in sub-zero temperatures, Silvestri, with help from Mayor Brian Arrigo’s Office, was able to find food and shelter for several homeless individuals.
“If I’m on the ballot, maybe my attention would have been focused on the campaign and these individuals might not have survived the bitter cold,” said Silvestri. “That incident put a lot of things in perspective for me.”
Though he is being urged to run for a position in this fall’s city elections, he has not made a decision on his political future.
Silvestri thanked Mayor Brian Arrigo and City Councillors Joanne McKenna and Arthur Guinasso for their endorsements in the race.
“I would like to thank everyone, from Mayor Arrigo for stepping up and putting confidence in me not only as a candidate but as a friend. I want to thank Ward 1 Councillor Joanne McKenna for also stepping up for me as a proud supporter. I grew up in Beachmont and she was raised with my family and I was very honored to have her endorsement.
“I would like to thank Arthur Guinasso. After Mayor Arrigo, Arthur was the first one to agree to help my campaign and he was very excited for my candidacy. Councillor-at-Large Gerry Visconti and a few other officials were ready to support me. The Elevators Union and the Bricklayers Union – I’m sorry and grateful at the same time. I feel as though that I let a lot of people down. Sometimes the little things in life are usually the ones you get over, right. In this instance, the little thing was the biggest hill to overcome. We gave it our best shot at doing it.”
Silvestri also thanked his wife, Nicole, and his daughters, Sienna and Saige. “They were a rock throughout this whole thing and were really supportive,” he said. “Saige’s birthday was actually going to be the day of the primary but we’ll still have something to celebrate.”
Silvestri said he will not be running as a write-in candidate in the March 2 Democratic Primary.
“I wish all the candidates in the race all the best and that they take this opportunity head-on, listen to the electorate, and really dig in and take on the issues that are affecting us,” concluded Silvestri.