Local Government and Politics

10 things to know about both of Lynn’s candidates for mayor

Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, left, and Senator Thomas M. McGee respond to questions during The Daily Item's mayoral debate. (Scott Eisen)

Judith Flanagan Kennedy

After eight years in office, we know much about Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. She’s a conservative who backed Donald Trump for president; she opposed the meal tax but backed a tax to pay for two new middle schools; she was willing to impose a trash fee to avoid layoffs; and she’s opposed to Lynn becoming a sanctuary city.

The Daily Item asked Kennedy to share 10 things you may not know about her.

  1. She was a contestant on Jeopardy! When the show held auditions in Boston, her father dared her to try out. She survived the audition and the show aired in 1989. To this day, close friends still call her “Judy Jeopardy.”
  2. While her name sounds Irish, the mayor is half Italian. Her mother’s parents came from Abruzzo and Avellino, Italy.
  3. Kennedy loves poker and has played for 40 years. She plays in Texas Hold ’em tournaments on the North Shore.
  4. All her digital clocks are set to military time. The mayor’s father taught her military time as a child and she found it more sensible than a 12-hour clock.
  5. She’s a big NASCAR fan. Her favorite drivers are Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer.
  6. The mayor has a terrible fear of flying. If she can travel on the ground, she will. She has traveled by train to California and Florida.
  7. She’s a music lover and has an eclectic taste. She likes everything from Baroque to rap. These days, she prefers heavy metal and her playlist includes Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat, Stone Sour, and Rage Against the Machine.
  8. She once played the role of Piglet in a junior high school production of “Winnie the Pooh.”
  9. When it comes to cars, she prefers stick shift. The mayor learned to drive on a “three on the tree” and a “four on the floor.” Today, she drives a six-speed Mini Cooper.
  10. She’s a “movie star” and can be seen in the crowd in two major movies filmed in Lynn. She was an extra in “That’s My Boy,” starring Adam Sandler. Kennedy also played an upscale restaurant patron in “Black Mass,” starring Johnny Depp. Look for her near the end of the movie as two actors portraying FBI agents kept leaning into each other and blocking her, but if you look carefully, she’s there.

Thomas M. McGee

State Sen. Thomas M. McGee has served on Beacon Hill for nearly a quarter of a century, so we’ve amassed quite a bit of knowledge about him. He’s willing to raise taxes to pay for the region’s crumbling infrastructure and rapid transit to Lynn; he backs an effort to declare Massachusetts a Sanctuary State; he served a three-year term as the Democratic State Committee chairman at a time when Republican Charlie Baker was elected governor; and he has a kinder, gentler approach to governing than his dad, also named Thomas McGee, who was speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1975 to 1984.

The Daily Item asked McGee to share 10 things you may not know about him.

  1. McGee attended Game 6 of the 1975 World Series when Carlton Fisk hit a walk-off, game-winning home run.
  2. He watched the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight on a closed circuit broadcast in 1971 at a packed Lynn City Hall auditorium.
  3. Went helicopter skiing in Utah.
  4. Worked as a dishwasher while living in Aspen, Colo.
  5. Attended the Live Aid Concert in Philadelphia in 1985 where Bob Dylan, Madonna, Mick Jagger, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Led Zeppelin, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed.
  6. Has visited 41 of the nation’s 50 states.
  7. He lived with his family on Johnson Street before moving to Pine Hill.
  8. Witnessed the “Miracle on Ice” team win the gold medal game in 1980 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
  9. Played softball for 17 years in the Lynn Park Softball League.
  10. Lifelong skier and learned to ski through a program at the YMCA.

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