Some observations on yesterday’s State Election now that Martha Coakley’s personal hostage crisis has ended.
The most-interesting local result yesterday, and one that pretty much flew under the radar, came in the 13th Essex District State Rep race.
On one hand, incumbent Democrat Ted Speliotis won by a comfortable 779 votes over upstart Republican challenger Tom Lyons.
But on the other, it was really surprising to see how strong Lyons, a West Peabody resident with Danvers roots, finished against a guy who is the so-called current “Dean of the Peabody Delegation on Beacon Hill.”
Although Lyons ran a great campaign, it’s rare to see a newbie make it that close against such an entrenched incumbent. Most-impressive and telling for future potential candidates, who may run against Speliotis, is how Lyons trounced the incumbent by a whopping 246 votes in Peabody’s Ward 6.
If Lyons can trounce Speliotis this badly in West Peabody, just imagine how badly the long-time State Rep would lose to Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz, who is a way more popular figure in the ward than Lyons.
If Speliotis runs again in two years, clearly he’s the most-vulnerable solon in the Peabody delegation, and maybe the entire state.
A power shift to the West in Peabody politics
Speaking of Sinewitz, outside of the candidates who prevailed yesterday, the Ward 6 Councilor was clearly the biggest winner politically during this campaign cycle.
Sinewitz, after all, gambled early on, and won big-time when newcomer Seth Moulton handily beat Republican Richard Tisei for Congress in the MA 6th District.
The gamble Sinewitz made was being the only Peabody elected official with the courage to strongly back Moulton over long-time incumbent John Tierney in advance of the Democratic primary. And now, the Ward 6 Councilor has a political star for a friend.
If you watched the television coverage of Moulton’s acceptance speech last night, it became clear how much the Congressman-elect appreciated Sinewitz’s support. Right there behind Moulton, on a stage reserved for family and very close supporters, the Ward 6 Councilor smiled and applauded.
Although Sinewitz has already proven his strength as a candidate by routing all comers each time he’s run for Ward 6 Councilor, his association with the new Congressman clearly adds to his strength when it comes to electability. As of today, if I had to rank the most-popular/powerful political figures in Peabody, Sinewitz would move up to No. 3, just behind Councilor At-Large Tom Gould and Mayor Ted Bettencourt.
The fact is that Ted Speliotis shouldn’t look over his shoulder for a hard-charging Tom Lyons in two years. He should worry more about born again Democrat Barry Sinewitz.
Suddenly, Manning is moving on up too
Another Peabody pol with improved cache following the State Election is Councilor At-Large Anne Manning, who jumped on the Charlie Baker for Governor bandwagon early. Manning also came out looking strong after she backed Rep. Leah Cole. While Sinewitz has a Congressman now on his side. Manning will have a Governor. That, in my opinion, makes her the fourth most-powerful pol in Peabody.
Not perfect, but pretty close as usual
OK, so I was wrong about the State Rep race between incumbent Republican Leah Cole and Democratic challenger Beverley Dunne.
But give me some credit, will ya? I was right in predicting victories yesterday for Moulton, Speliotis and Baker. What’s the old Meat Loaf lyric about two out of three?
I was also right on ballot questions 1 and 2.
With an impressive batting average like this, I think I’m a candidate someday for the political pundit Hall of Fame. Don’t you?
Follow Bob on Twitter @eyeonpeabody