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Showdown between Lee and Linehan

(Originally appeared at www.bostonbastard.com. This post reflects the opinion of the Boston Bastard and not that of UHub and Adam G.)

In September, Suzanne Lee had one thing that Bill Linehan didn’t – the element of surprise. No one expected a first-time candidate from Chinatown to give much trouble to an incumbent South Bostonian in “South Boston’s District.”

That all changed when Lee smacked Linehan across the face in the polls, Sept. 27, taking the top spot in the preliminary election.

All of a sudden, what was not expected to be a difficult battle for Linehan, has turned into one of two hotly-contested district races this year.

It remains to be seen how much support Linehan was able to drum up since coming in second, but it’s clear the race would not be a cake walk.

As far as campaign financing goes, both Linehan and Lee reported roughly the same amount of total campaign donations for the year at the time of the election, September 27. But on the Friday following the election, Linehan’s campaign deposited $23,630 in donations.

Linehan didn’t actually report any receipts in the first two weeks of October, but in that time, he did sink $ 17,936.18 into his campaign, predominately in local media advertising.

In contrast, Lee’s campaign reported $4,550 in deposits the Friday after that election. The campaign also took in $11,679.26 in the first two weeks of October.

Recently, it was reported that Linehan’s campaign delivered a ton of flyers in the Chinatown area – a Lee stronghold whose voting bloc elevated her to first in the prelim – that listed Wednesday, Oct. 27 as election day.

Linehan’s daughter and campaign manager, Christin Linehan Armour claimed that the date was an honest typographical error.

As convenient as it is that a classic Jim Crow-style error ended up on campaign flyers in a part of town that is likely to favor Lee, there’s a part of me that’s willing to believe that Armour really did make a mistake, but only because Armour seems to have the intellect of a drunk infant lost in the throes of third stage Syphilis.

It was rumored that at-large candidate Michael Flaherty talked Bob Ferrera into running against Linehan, so that there would be a contested district race in South Boston. Ferrera proved to be a useless candidate.

Nevertheless, Flaherty and Linehan may prove to be each other’s best friends in this election, since both are relying on a big turnout among South Boston voters.

District 2 is tough race for me to call, because it’s too hard to not have disdain for Linehan, a man who can’t be bothered to return constituent phone calls, let alone calls from journalists. Also, I’m sure he has no problem at all returning to office on the backs of racists who care little about their neighborhood so long as it’s not being represented by “some Asian.”

It’s not like Linehan had to walk past jeers of “Go back to Brookline,” on his way to a recent debate.

At this point late in game, it will all come down to whether or not Lee was able to make a solid enough case that she can do a better job than Linehan at constituent services. The question is, do the voters believe her?

I can confidently say that I believe Lee would be better, but that’s because a quadriplegic could do a better job than Linehan at returning phone calls.

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