I'm awful busy these days, but I still got to the polls last week to cast my vote for all the losing candidates. Here are the vote totals and what they mean:
U.S. House - DEMOCRAT 1st DISTRICT
Richard NEAL - 65%
Andrea NUCIFORO - 25%
Bill SHEIN - 10%
In 2010 when a broke tea party Republican scored 43% against Neal, the word went out that Neal was vulnerable. Yet this year the threat to Neal didn't come from the Right but from the Left, since both of Neal's 2010 GOP challengers were oh so conveniently removed from the district by a redistricting that saw Neal absorb the former district of the retiring John Olver. Nucifero and Shein were gambling that Olver's fans wanted someone more liberal than Neal, who is probably the most conservative member of the state's delegation, but since the state is Massachusetts that's not saying much. Nucifero tried to link Neal to fat cat bankers, only to have it revealed that Nucifero accepted money from the same sources when he was a state legislator. Shameless socialist Shein said his opponents were closet conservatives. To attract liberals Neal moved leftward on some issues, but now that his eternal incumbency is again safe expect Richie to go back to being Richie.
U.S. HOUSE-DEMOCRAT 2ND DISTRICT
James MCGOVERN - 91%
William FEEGBEH - 9%
Amherst and Northampton got screwed in the redistricting by being tacked onto the tail end of McGovern's district, which is known statewide as "the Worcester district." Obviously both towns are more politically, financially, culturally and historically linked to Springfield. It was an especially degrading blow for Amherst, who once had its own hometown boy John Olver as their personal congressman. McGovern faced no real challenge from Feegbeh, who was arrested on assault charges during the campaign, and since he has no GOP opponent McGovern is now the guy in Worcester that Amherst and Hamp will have to beg to pay attention to them once in a while.
GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL-DEMOCRAT 8TH DISTRICT
Michael ALBANO - 43%
Kevin SULLIVAN - 41%
Gerry ROY - 17%
Apparently Mike Albano got bored spending his pension money in local bars and pretending to run his false-front "consulting" firm, so he wants to relieve his boredom by going to Governor's Council meetings in Boston. He got his biggest vote totals in the city he trashed, proving once again that Springfield still has the stupidest electorate in the Valley.
GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL-REPUBLICAN 8TH DISTRICT
Michael FRANCO - 52%
Michael CASE - 48%
Mike Franco is the only chance the electorate has left to correct their error in nominating Albano. Franco's victory was something of a surprise, as challenger Case had the backing of the Scott Brown machine; but Franco has toiled in the thankless trenches of the local GOP for years and was rewarded for it. Mike Franco also comes with some baggage stemming from a certain extremism on social issues, but if the alternative is Albano then every good citizen must now consider voting for Franco to be their moral duty.
MASS. SENATE-DEMOCRAT HAMPDEN DISTRICT
James WELCH - 61%
Melvin EDWARDS - 39%
Welch is a do-nothing hack, but Melvin Edwards wouldn't have been much better.
MASS. HOUSE-REPUBLICAN 2ND HAMPDEN DISTRICT
Marie ANGELIDES - 88%
Jack VILLAMAINO - 12%
Stuffing the ballot box with fake absentee ballots? Hey, I thought they only did that in Springfield! The fall of Jack Villamaino is playing out like a farce, but it is really a tragedy. At one point Villamaino was considered the local GOP's most promising young star, but now he will be lucky to escape a prison term.
MASS. HOUSE-DEMOCRAT 9TH HAMPDEN
Sean CURRAN - 74%
Joseph FOUNTAIN - 26%
People keep saying that Curran is vulnerable, so how come he always wins by a landslide?
CLERK OF COURTS-DEMOCRAT HAMPDEN COUNTY
Laura GENTILE - 35%
Thomas ASHE - 32%
Linda DISANTI - 18%
John DACRUZ - 15%
I was amazed by how much work Linda DiSanti (above) put into her campaign, only to come in a distant third! Laura Gentile, whom I originally dismissed as a "minor candidate" pulled a major surprise by winning it all. Best of all, her victory frustrated the rise of former Keough Krew prince Tom Ashe.
All around our Valley: