Reporter's Notebook: Lynch gets a shout-out from Sheriff Tompkins

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Mar. 28, 2013

It looks like Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins is backing Congressman Stephen Lynch in his bid for the US Senate seat vacated by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Last Saturday, Tompkins appeared at the opening of Lynch’s regional campaign office for the Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury neighborhoods on Blue Hill Avenue across from the Franklin Park Zoo where, according to a post on the Lynch campaign’s Facebook profile, he said, “The base is not just South Boston. The base is Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester.” Then in an apparent reference to a recent Lynch campaign ad that featured supporters saying, “I am Stephen Lynch,” Tompkins said, “We are all Stephen Lynch.”

Lynch (D-South Boston) will face US Rep. Ed Markey (D-Malden) in the Democratic primary on April 30. The winner will face the Republican nominee on June 28.

Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Tompkins to the Suffolk sheriff’s post, an elected office, after the governor tapped Andrea Cabral as his public safety chief earlier this year. A longtime adviser to Cabral and a Hyde Park resident, Tompkins took a leave from the sheriff’s office last year to work on US Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign.

Lynch’s campaign on Monday released a list of elected officials officially supporting the congressman, who was elected in 2001. Tompkins, whose name was not on it, did not immediately return a voice-mail seeking comment.

The list included Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, state Sen. Michael Rush (D-West Roxbury), and state representatives Marty Walsh of Dorchester, Nick Collins of South Boston, Russell Holmes of Mattapan, Carlo Basile of East Boston, and Ed Coppinger of West Roxbury.

Widely considered the frontrunner in the Senate race, Markey has his own list of supporters in the Boston delegation on Beacon Hill. They include state Sen. Anthony Petruccelli (D-East Boston) and state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester.

Kerry endorsed Markey in December before he joined the State Department. Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop), state Attorney General Martha Coakley, and state Treasurer Steve Grossman have also announced they’re backing Markey. This week, Markey picked up the backing of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has several thousand members in Massachusetts.

A WBUR poll out this week showed Markey in the lead in the Democratic primary by 11 points, with most voters undecided. With 28 percent support, former US Attorney Michael Sullivan was ahead of state Rep. Daniel Winslow and Cohasset’s Gabriel Gomez.

Lee wants rematch in District 2
Suzanne Lee, the former elementary school principal who lost to City Councillor Bill Linehan by 97 votes in 2011, said last week she plans to mount another campaign this year for the District 2 seat.

“As I’ve continued to talk to residents throughout the district, I still hear concerns about jobs and liveable wages, about ensuring that every child has a quality education and about making Boston a place where families can find affordable housing options,” Lee said in a statement. “As city councilor, I will build on my years of service to our communities and work hard to deliver the results that our families deserve.”

Linehan is expected to run for reelection. He held a fundraiser earlier this month at J.J. Foley’s, ahead of the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast that he hosted for the first time.

“In the past two years I’ve worked very hard,” Linehan said. “I’m not sure what Suzanne Lee has done for the past two years.” He added: “We’re ready to roll. We’re out raising money and we have volunteers.”

Lee’s interest in a potential rematch has been apparent to close observers of Boston politics. She kept making deposits in her campaign fundraising account last year and often appeared at several high profile meetings, like the ones held by an advisory panel that outlined an overhaul of the city’s student assignment process.

Lee, a Chinatown resident who grew up in Grove Hall, was the principal of the Josiah Quincy Elementary School for 10 years. Linehan, a South Boston resident who previously worked for the city’s Parks Department and the city’s chief operating officer, has held the seat since 2007.
District 2 includes South Boston, South End, Chinatown, Bay Village and Fort Point.

Capuano aide keeps political options open
An aide to Congressman Michael Capuano said he’s keeping his options open as his campaign fundraising account remains active.

“I opened a campaign account last summer in anticipation of a potential opening in municipal government,” Dan Ryan, a Charlestown resident who has worked in Capuano’s office for 14 years, told the Reporter. “I am simply keeping my options open so I can be ready to answer the call should a realistic opportunity to represent my neighborhood, this city, and the commonwealth present itself.”

The potential opening Ryan referred to in his statement is the District 1 City Council seat, which covers East Boston, Charlestown and the North End, and is now held by Sal LaMattina. He launched a campaign for Suffolk County Register of Probate last year, but lost the Democratic primary to fellow East Boston resident Patricia Campatelli while keeping his Council seat. LaMattina, who had previously worked in the city’s Transportation Department, beat Ryan by 156 votes in a June 2006 special election.

Ryan’s campaign account recently showed a few deposits this month totaling $2,350 given by several lawyers and developers, according to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

There is currently one opening on the City Council: John Connolly’s at-large seat. He is not running for reelection, instead choosing to run for mayor.

Michelle Wu, a former campaign aide to Elizabeth Warren, has already announced her at-large bid while Jeff Ross, a South End attorney who unsuccessfully ran for former state Sen. Jarrett Barrios’s seat in 2007, is mulling an at-large run.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop. Email us at newseditor@dotnews.com and follow us on Twitter: @LitDrop and @gintautasd.