I said in a previous post that I thought the major party candidates would both be from the smaller town of Westwood, leaving a major opening for a Dedham independent. Then, the man I suspected would be the winner on the Democratic side, Selectman Anthony Antonellis, dropped out of the race. This ensures now that the Democratic nominee will be from Dedham.
Then, Jim Munchbach from Dedham also pulled papers at the last minute. Munchbach is the brother of Dedham Town Clerk Paul Munchbach and sits on the board of the National Association of Government Employees (which was founded in Dedham, as a trivial side note.). Though I thought him to be a Republican, I’m sure he would be able to count on significant union support and his family’s considerable political strength. However today again we learn that he, too, has dropped out.
The Transcript is also reporting that former Chairman of the Chairmen in Dedham, Margot Pyle, has returned her nomination papers to the Town Clerk for verification, but the Town Clerk’s website doesn’t reflect this. Assuming the paper is correct, however, that leaves 8 candidates in the mix.
On the good guy side we have:
*Steve Bilfar, a former aide to Tom Reily
*Joanne Flately, a School Committee member
*Thomas M. Boncek, a Town Meeting Member
*Cheryl Schoenfeld, the current Chairmen of the Chairmen
None of these candidates have run for any higher office before, and I don’t think Bilafer has even run for town office.
On the bad guy side we have:
*Doug Obey, chairman of the Westwood RTC and failed candidate for the Marian Walsh’s Senate seat
*Bill McKinney, a RSC member and failed candidate for this seat 10 or 15 years ago
For the Independents:
*Paul McMurtry, a local business man and owner of my favorite place to watch movies, The Dedham Community Theatre
*(possibly)Margot Pyle, the former Chairman of the Chairmen and Town Meeting Member
McMurtry has never held any public office and Pyle ran, but lost, 2 or 3 times for Selectman. Eventually she settled on becoming a leader in the Town Meeting but lost her position there due to a neighborhood dispute and the ensuing coup d’etat.
So, I am now pretty comfortable saying that the winner of the Democratic primary in this race will be the next State Representative for the 11th Norfolk District. Who will that winner be? I think its pretty up in the air right now, but Flatly is the only one whose name has been on the ballot town wide before. If Planning Board Member Jay O’Brien had returned his papers I would put my money on him, but he didn’t.
If the Democrats nominate someone weak I still think McMurtry has a strong chance. He will have to work his ass off in order to do it, but he was the first one to toss his hat into the race and he has worked harder than any other candidate, at least as far as I can tell from afar. I’ve seen his name a lot more than I have the other candidates. If Pyle is in the race then he may lose some indy votes to her in the other towns, but I don’t think they will be drawing from the same pool in Dedham.