Local Government and Politics, News

Three rematches highlight the fall’s election for Lynn City Council

LYNN — Voters will see a rematch in wards 1, 3 and 5, and two Hispanic candidates are seeking an at-large seat on the City Council in November’s election. 

The only race that will be affected by the preliminary election on Sept. 3 is for Ward 6 councilor. Five candidates are vying to fill two spots on the ballot for the general election. Incumbent Fred Hogan, who was selected by the City Council to replace state Rep. Peter Capano (D-Lynn) in January, is facing a challenge from Donald Castle, Cinda Danh, David Ellis and Jimmy Gonzalez. 

In Ward 1, an attorney, William O’Shea III, is trying for a second time to unseat Wayne Lozzi. The 56-year-old lost to Lozzi two years ago by 368 votes. 

“It was very close,” said O’Shea. “It was my first time running in politics. I learned a lot from the process. I built a pretty good base, but I’m obviously hoping to expand on that.” 

Lozzi, an environmental analyst with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, has held the seat since 2004. 

In Ward 3, City Council President Darren Cyr is facing off against George Meimeteas, a 54-year-old real estate company owner, for the second time. Cyr won their first contest in 2017 by a 59 to 40 percent margin. 

“I ran a great campaign two years ago, and continue to campaign hard within my ward by walking the neighborhoods and listening to people’s concerns,” said Meimeteas. “The consensus is new leadership and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.” 

Cyr, an investigator for the Massachusetts State Lottery, has held his seat since 2006. He’s been council president for three years. 

Ward 5 Councilor Dianna Chakoutis will face off against Marven Hyppolite for a third time. She defeated the 27-year-old caseworker for U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass) by 105 votes two years ago. 

“I’m running because not all of us are being represented,” said Hyppolite. “To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be successful or not. All I know is I need to keep pushing the message. I don’t know if I’m hoping to win, but I’m giving it another try.” 

Chakoutis, a manager at Old Tyme Italian Cuisine restaurant, has held her seat since 2014. She’s the only woman on the council. 

The at-large race is a crowded field of seven candidates seeking to fill the four seats. Incumbents Buzzy Barton, Brian Field, Brian LaPierre and Hong Net are up against Joel Hyppolite, no relation to Marven Hyppolite, and two Hispanic candidates, Jose M. Encarnacion and Lennin Ernesto Pena. 

Encarnacion, 56, an administrator at the Dominican Republic Consulate, said he is running because he wants to make local government work for everyone. He is focused on improving public safety, infrastructure and promoting economic growth, he said. 

“Everyone in the city deserves an opportunity to have a piece of the pie,” said Encarnacion. “We should work for everyone in the city regardless of race and color.” 

Pena, 47, a Class 1 operator at the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, said he’s running because he wants to see change and more diversity in local government, which he feels is the city’s greatest strength. Escalating property taxes, infrastructure, public safety and the opioid crisis are his priorities.

“(I’m) a big believer in second chances, someone gave me a chance and an opportunity,” said Pena, who declined to elaborate but insisted he’s the first Hispanic employee of the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission. “I think everyone deserves an opportunity.” 

Barton, a retired Lynn firefighter, has held his at-large seat since 2012. 

Field, a funeral director at Solimine Funeral Home, is seeking a second term after winning a seat two years ago. 

LaPierre, director of organization at the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts and former teacher, has been on the council since 2016. 

Net, a child support enforcement specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, has held his seat since 2012. 

Ward 2 Councilor Rick Starbard, president of Rick’s Auto Collision, is the only incumbent who is running unopposed, and is seeking a second term. 

Richard Colucci, a real estate agent, is seeking to retain the seat he’s held non-consecutively since 1990 in Ward 4. He faces a challenge from Natasha Megie-Maddrey, an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for School Committee two years ago. 

Ward 7 Councilor John “Jay” Walsh, a former General Electric Co. employee who now works for his family’s oil company, has held his seat since 2016, is being opposed by Alexis Reynoso, a business owner. 

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