It wasn’t your traditional scene for a major political announcement – with Irish step dancing before and a corned beef and cabbage dinner after – but Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo made his intentions known for the 2019 election Thursday night at the packed Beachmont V.F.W. Hall.
Rizzo announced he will be a candidate for mayor in the election during his annual St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser. He previously served one term as mayor and lost a close election to current Mayor Brian Arrigo in Nov. 2015. Rizzo returned to the City Council after topping the ticket in the 2017 election.
Former Ward 2 Councillor John Perez traveled from Florida to introduce Rizzo to the many people who packed the large hall.
“It’s a real honor to be here tonight,” said Perez. “All of you are here tonight for Dan Rizzo. He’s a regular guy who works for all of us. He’s a very special man in politics. One of the proudest votes I ever made on the city council, a vote that had such a ripple effect to the future of this city, was to vote for Dan Rizzo to become a member of the City Council.”
Perez cleverly maintained the suspense of the imminent announcement, telling Rizzo supporters only to “grab a bumper sticker and spread the word.”
Rizzo received a raucous ovation as he walked to the microphone.
“Hello everybody. Thank you all so much for being here,” began Rizzo.
Looking out at “so many longtime friends and supporters, people who have been there with me through thick and thin, Rizzo said, “We have done such great things over these last 20 years.”
Rizzo noted the many improvements to the Revere business district (Broadway). “Now when you drive through our central business district, you see a street with brand new lighting, brand new sidewalks, new storefronts, flags, flowers – it’s a place that I thought that we can all be proud of.”
Rizzo spoke his efforts during the school building program that brought the new Hill Elementary School on Park Avenue.
“We invested in playgrounds, we invested in parks, three new Little League fields. We invested in a brand-new Harry Della Russo Stadium.”
Rizzo said he and his supporters have enjoyed some great election-night victories. “And then we had some that I like to call do-overs.”
And then in a moment that many of his supporters had anticipated, the popular councillor-at-large said, “And so tonight, I’m going to tell you something – we’re going to have a do-over.
“Tonight, I want to let all of you know that Revere’s best days are yet to come, and I know how to get us there. And I am announcing my candidacy for mayor this coming November.”
Rizzo has been understandably pleased with the enormous show of support at the fundraiser and in the days following the event.
“People have been extremely receptive since we announced,” said Rizzo. “People have seen what has been transpiring across the city over the last three-and-a-half years and they know they have a clear choice in this election and there are certainly distinct differences, and I plan on highlighting those difference over the next six or seven months.”