City councilor Claire Freda, who left the Democratic Party and her seat on the Democratic State Committee in February to run against Flanagan as an independent, is as cliched as a candidate could be. She offers nothing. She officially kicked off her campaign Tuesday with these gems:
- “I won’t serve the special interest groups; I’ll serve the residents of Leominster.”
- “[I’ll] make Leominster a priority.”
- “As a state representative, it’s my job to bring money back from the state to the city.”
And my favorite:
- “[The Democratic Party] was not the party I grew up with, Family values were falling apart.”
Which essentially means “I can’t get enough votes in a Democratic party, I’m bored with being a city councilor, and since I’m against gay marriage I’ll run as an independent. Did I mention I’m from Leominster?”
Despite no compelling reason for her candidacy, Freda is popular enough in town that she went into September with more cash on hand than Flanagan. She only lost the Democratic primary to Flanagan by 835 votes, and if she keeps one-third of the Democrats in November, the race will be no better than a toss-up.
Flanagan had better be prepared for a fight. She will need to make a compelling case for reelection, and frankly, I have yet to see a sign of it.