Editorial: Elect Tim Flaherty
While all four candidates for the state Senate seat vacated by Jarrett Barrios showed they have a firm understanding of Cambridge, only one has a solid enough pedigree needed in such a schizophrenic district that includes a portion of Cambridge, Somerville, Allston-Brighton, Chelsea, Saugus, Revere and Everett.
For this reason, the Chronicle is endorsing Tim Flaherty, a lifelong Cambridge resident and former Norfolk County assistant district attorney, in the Sept. 11 state Senate primary. Flaherty is very clear and concise about what he would bring to the city: from improving the quality of public education, combating gang activity and drug use and linking job growth in the biotech industry to city residents.
All four candidates participated in a campaign marked by agreeableness and friendly back-slapping, but only Flaherty was able to differentiate himself from the pack and not rely on simple rhetoric or paint a rosy picture when there isn’t any.
Among the other candidates, it is clear that City Councilor Anthony Galluccio cares deeply about Cambridge and has been an ardent community supporter during his 13-year tenure. However, his campaign relied too much on one message: kids, while he continues to face the distractions of allegations of driving under the influence. Paul Nowicki, a Chelsea City Councilor, doesn’t seem to have the ability to see things in shades of gray, which could be detrimental when working with others in the political realm. And Jeff Ross has no concrete experience that would lend itself to a powerful state Senate position.
Flaherty, in contrast, was specific and multi-pronged in his approach. He said he would commission a study to determine how much money it would cost to deliver high-quality education to every student in the state, pointing out an obvious inequity: Cambridge spends the most in the state per pupil.
And he was toughest on crime, a subject that is becoming more and more familiar in this city and in the district as a whole. He was also tough on Gov. Deval Patrick’s not-yet-fulfilled campaign promise to deliver 1,000 new police officers to the streets. “I would work to find funding and encourage the administration to do that,” he said. “If anybody doesn’t think there’s a crime epidemic in Cambridge, Somerville and in this entire district, they’re wrong.”
The son of former House Speaker Charles Flaherty was impressive on other issues as well: CORI reform, the importance of early childhood education and targeting at-risk youth. On another important subject, the NorthPoint project in East Cambridge, Flaherty would likely work well on the political and community sides to help the mammoth development along.
We also believe Flaherty, a Boston College Law School graduate and practicing attorney, has the experience and finesse needed to best represent Cambridge.