Election Day is one week from today, and no freak snowstorm can slow down candidates and their supporters.
Today, the newly formed group SEIU Community Action—an offshoot of the Service Employees International Union, open to non-union and union workers as well as unemployed people—announced its endorsements in next week’s municipal election. The group, which according to organizers was put together to “[empower] residents to get active in combating some of the community’s key challenges—such as foreclosures and unemployment,” says it’s already signed up 2,300 Springfield residents.
It’s also put together a list of favored candidates for next week’s election. On SEIU Community Action’s list of endorsements:
• Mayor: José Tosado
• At-large city councilors: incumbent Jimmy Ferrera and challengers Justin Hurst and Amaad Rivera (currently the Ward 6 councilor)
• Ward councilors: Zaida Luna (Ward 1), Michael Fenton (Ward 2), Melvin Edwards (Ward 3), Henry Twiggs (Ward 4), Tim Allen (Ward 7) and Orlando Ramos (Ward 8). All those picks are incumbents, with the exception of Ramos, who is challenging incumbent John Lysak for the seat in ward 8.
Ramos also announced today that he’s also been endorsed by School Committee members Denise Hurst, Norman Roldan, Peter Murphy and Barbara Gresham.
Meanwhile, Mayor Domenic Sarno has announced that he’s temporarily suspending “all campaign related commitments and engagements” to focus on dealing with the fall-out of last weekend’s snow storm.
Sarno’s challenger, Tosado, you might recall, made a similar gesture last summer, suspending his campaign in the wake of the June 1 tornados—a move that, in retrospect, seemed to make it that much harder for his campaign to build up a head of steam. As the incumbent, of course, Sarno’s decision to lay off the campaign events for awhile will have little, if any, effect; the news media will still be full of coverage of his handling of the storm’s aftermath—case in point, this image by Republican photographer Dave Roback, showing the mayor delivering cots to an emergency shelter at Central High.