Some Peabody political insider news a few days before Christmas, but it looks like the Peabody Democratic City Committee will be seeing new leadership in 2014.
Mike Schulze, who some feel helped Republican Leah Cole get elected State Rep during last spring’s special election because of his lack of support for the Democratic candidate, has resigned as chair of the city committee.
Although Schulze technically declared that the PDCC was endorsing Democrat Beverley Dunne in her effort to fill the seat previously occupied by the late Joyce Spilliotis, his own actions spoke volumes to the contrary.
It wasn’t that Schulze himself had a direct impact on the outcome, but as leader of the PDCC he did nothing to help to avoid the schism that developed after Councilor At-large David Gravel left the party and ran for state rep as an unenrolled candidate.
Let’s be honest here, the endorsement of Dunne was half-hearted at best, since Schulze clearly supported Gravel.
Many feel that Gravel’s decision to run as an unenrolled candidate split the vote between he and Dunne, which allowed a previously unknown, 24-year-old Republican to pull off the upset by 73 votes.
But then again, Schulze certainly doesn’t deserve all (or even most) of the blame here for Dunne’s defeat. There were other so-called Democratic movers and shakers, whose endorsement of Gravel, or total lack of action, also led to Cole pulling off the upset.
And a Republican winning this seat held by a legendary Democratic public servant such as Joyce Spilliotis, was a local equivalent to Scott Brown winning the US Senate previously held by Ted Kennedy.
In an email to city committee members today, vice chair Deb Ryan told PDCC members that she will serve in the interim as acting chair. Ryan will convene a meeting on Jan. 11 for the full committee to make some go-forward decisions.