LYNN — With a preliminary municipal election looming Sept. 3, the most competitive race is shaping up to be for Ward 6 councilor.
Five candidates are vying to fill the two spots on the ballot for November’s general election. However, a young challenger, Cinda Danh, is leading the pack by a wide margin in terms of campaign finances.
Danh, 28, is hoping to unseat the incumbent, Fred Hogan, 48, who was voted in by the City Council in January to finish out Peter Capano’s term. Capano vacated the council seat he held since 2005 when he was elected as a state representative last November.
Danh, a government relations specialist at PretiStrategies of Boston, which bills itself as “an elite team of experienced leaders in government relations, public affairs and communications,” has raised $23,406 in campaign contributions. When accounting for expenditures, she has $17,390 in the bank, or cash on hand, according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finances (OCPF).
Unlike the other candidates, the majority of Danh’s funds raised come from out-of-town contributions. A Lynn Classical and University of Massachusetts Boston graduate, Danh is the daughter of Cambodian Genocide survivors who immigrated to the United States in 1988. She’s worked as an intern and legislative aide to former Lynn state representative Steven M. Walsh and chief of staff to Rep. Jim O’Day of Worcester.
Locally, she recently founded the Faces of Lynn Magazine.
Hogan, a Grade 2 wastewater operator and site safety coordinator for the Lynn Wastewater Treatment Plant, has raised $10,265 and has $5,245 in the bank. Most of his fundraising is from local donors.
Hogan, a Lynn Classical graduate and community activist, is one of the co-founders of Lynn’s Stop the Violence initiative. He coached football and basketball in the city for 25 years, including stints as head coach for the Lynn English girls basketball team, and as an assistant at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute and Classical.
David Ellis, 60, who serves on the Lynn Water and Sewer Board of Commissioners and is a former Ward 6 councilor, is lagging far behind in contributions, with $1,000 raised, but has spent little. He has $967 in the bank.
Ellis, a Lynn Tech and North Shore Community College graduate, has worked for General Electric, the Essex County Registry of Deeds and as a real estate agent. He’s coached youth sports in the city, including Challenger Little League for children with physical and emotional disabilities.
Donald Castle, 52, assistant chief probation officer in Suffolk Superior Court, has raised $4,155, but has only $357 on hand. Castle was the only other Ward 6 candidate to garner some support from the council in January to fill Capano’s vacated seat.
Castle is a graduate of Lynn Classical, the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Massachusetts School of Law. He’s the founding member of Protect Our Reservoir — Preserve Pine Grove, a grassroots organization that helped defeat a $188 million plan for two new middle schools two years ago. The group took issue with the location and environmental impacts of the site.
A fifth candidate, Jimmy Gonzalez, a 73-year-old retired factory worker, will appear on the ballot for the preliminary election but OCPF shows he doesn’t have a bank set up for his campaign. He said his plan was to set up an account on Monday.