The most elusive candidate in last year’s mayoral race is back on the ballot, this time vying for state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz’s seat in the 2nd Suffolk district. David James Wyatt collected enough signatures in the spring to make the Nov. 4 ballot, but since then, he has been tough to track down, with no publicized campaign appearances, no office, no events, no media presence save for a website with a short, outdated message on a single page.
When reached by phone last week, the Roxbury Republican conceded that he faces a difficult battle against Chang-Diaz, who, he said, has a strong record on education issues. “I, too, am interested in education issues. It’s the best way to lower the tax burden and lower crime,” he said. “Trying to win against her, I can offer my expertise and input in the area of education, so the Senate wouldn’t see any deficit in our skills,” he added.
According to campaign literature from the mayoral race, Wyatt grew up in Roxbury and is a graduate of Boston City College with a master’s degree in education from Boston State (now UMass Boston). He worked as a teacher in the Boston public schools before being fired in the ‘90s in a case that was upheld on an appeal in court.
Wyatt was quick to note that should a Republican be elected into the state’s corner office, it would be important to have a Republican in Boston’s solidly blue voting bloc. Outspoken about his firm anti-abortion rights stance, he turned to the issue he has stressed in each of his campaigns: abortion. “The major concern for me, primarily, is the concern about the unborn children. Always in my political career I have championed the pro-life cause. I am 100 percent pro-life. But beyond that, I’m going to take time to talk to the people of the 2nd Suffolk district.”
Wyatt said his run for mayor last year gives him a leg up in this year’s senate race. “As a former city-wide candidate last year, my name is known through the city.” However, technical issues from the mayoral race still plague his campaign. Wyatt’s website still refers to him a “serious candidate for mayor.” He said he is working on the site, adding, “This explains why I’m reluctant to talk to anyone. There were technical difficulties last year. We didn’t have a workable website.”
Wyatt declined to go into detail when asked how, specifically, he planned to reach out to voters in this race, with website difficulties, an empty campaign bank account as of May 15, and no scheduled upcoming campaign events.
Wyatt is one of three non-Democratic candidates running for office in Dorchester’s legislative races this fall. Another Republican, Claudette N. Joseph, is running for the 5th Suffolk seat recently won by Rep. Evandro Carvalho. Joseph declined numerous requests for an interview with the Reporter. The other candidate, Robert E. Powers, Jr., is challenging incumbent state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry in the 1st Suffolk Senate district. Dorcena Forry is married to Reporter editor and publisher Bill Forry. Powers, an independent candidate without a website, did not answer repeated requests for comment. The state Office of Campaign and Political Finance website lists Powers’s home address – on Pierce Avenue – but offers no information about campaign filings, only that he is on the ballot.
In local news from further up the ballot, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley will be on site later this week as she opens a campaign office on Warren Street in Grove Hall. The location will “better serve residents in North Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, and the surrounding neighborhoods,” according to a campaign email blast. The announcement comes on the heels of Coakley’s visit to Dorchester last week, where she kicked off a two-week tour promoting an economy that gives everyone a “fair shot” at economic success.
The United Independence Party’s Evan Falchuk hit a huge milestone in his uphill battle to become Massachusetts’s next governor: He qualified for the ballot. Falchuk and lieutenant governor candidate Angus Jennings secured 12,000 signatures, 2,000 more than needed, six weeks before the deadline for independent candidates. In an email to the media, Falchuk’s campaign noted that the team used no paid signature-gathering firms “as candidates often do.”
To celebrate, Falchuk launched a $360,000 statewide media blitz on Monday with a rollout of his first television commercial of the campaign, set to air locally on Ch. 5, Boston’s ABC affiliate, and on Ch. 3 in Springfield’s, a CBS affiliate. Falchuk, who is fluent in Spanish, is also airing a Spanish language ad over Merrimack Valley airwaves.
“My launch commercial is frank and straightforward,” Falchuk said. “It speaks to voters like the adults they are, as it should, and deliberately steers clear of the generic ‘watch-me-just-shake-hands’ feel so many campaign ads consist of. As a voter, I’m not interested in seeing how a candidate looks standing by a picket fence. I’m interested in hearing what he or she actually stands for.”