With the official announcement last week that Peter Gill will be a candidate for Town Council President and tonight’s campaign kickoff reception for Council President Jeffrey Turco, the race is on for the highest elected office in town government.
The election shapes up as an exciting one between Turco, the incumbent president who has many accomplishments that he can cite in his first term, and Gill, a long-time resident who has long been active in town government. We expect that both candidates will be highly visible in the next few weeks articulating why they feel they’re the best person for what is a very difficult, challenging, and time-consuming position.
There can be no question that Jeffrey Turco has taken the town in a new direction and that there have been many positive changes that have greatly affected the daily lives of Winthrop residents during his term in office. Gill can point to his distinguished career as a teacher, administrator, local business owner, and real estate broker as assets and the right experiences that have prepared him to lead the town’s government.
It will be hard for other well-known and prominent leaders to stay on the sidelines during what should be one of the best political contests in many years. Already Vice Chairman of the School Committee William Holden has announced his endorsement of Turco, as has Dottie D’Onofrio, the prominent leader of the Ladies Lodge Sons of Italy. You can expect that Peter also will be receiving key endorsements in the future.
It is unlikely that one of the state’s most powerful figures, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, will take a side in the election, although knowing the Speaker, he will stay informed of all the developments in the race and the issues that the two candidates are raising.
The Chamber of Commerce has finalized one Council President debate and Jeffrey Turco is hoping that Peter Gill will agree to another forum. The Council President’s race has the full attention of the town’s residents and no doubt interest in it is going to escalate in the upcoming weeks.
We strongly feel that it is a positive experience for residents to be engaged in the democratic process.
It should be noted that Barbara Survilas, a candidate for the position in the last election, is considering throwing her hat in the ring. Candidates have until Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. to submit their nomination papers.