Ward 2 does not include any part of the Gallows Hill or Blubber Hollow neighborhoods, and so falls outside of the strict purview of this blog, but the McIntire District within Ward 2 has such an out-sized influence on the tenor of Salem that, like the saying, attention must be paid. Plus, with four candidates striving for one otherwise insignificant ward councilor seat, something this way blows. What that something may be will be speculated upon in the next blog post in this series (III – The Temperament).
The Ward 2 Councilor seat is an open seat because incumbent Heather Famico, of 195 Essex St in downtown Salem, is stepping down after serving only two 2-year terms. The official reason for the early departure is a “desire to focus on career and long-term goals”. What the actual reasons may have been will be considered in the next blog post in this series (III – The Temperament). Regardless, the open seat is heavily contested.
Brendan Murphy, a resident of 19 East Collins St in the Bridge St Neck neighborhood. His candidacy is unusual in that he is a proud blue-collar laborer (first shift Process Technician in Shetland Park), not a lawyer or other professional. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Christine Madore, an Asian immigrant and resident of downtown Salem at 20 Federal St. She is a professional urban planner. Her candidacy is unusual in that she is a proud naturalized citizen, only since 2015, but already running for public office. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Justin Whittier, a resident of 10 River St in the McIntire District, and former president of the Federal Street Neighborhood Association. His candidacy is unusual in that he is a independent artist and proudly has no previous political experience. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Mary Usovicz, a resident of 2 Botts Ct. in the McIntire District, and a long term executive at an energy servicing corporation. Her candidacy is unusual in that she is the wife of former Salem Mayor Stanley Usovicz and has run before for Salem City Council, though there is no mention of such on her web sites. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
The four candidates present an enormous range of past experience, background, occupation and age, and reside in all corners of Ward 2. A lot to choose from. The Primary Election is Tuesday Sept 12, and the two survivors will square off in the Final Election Tuesday Nov 7 to select the new Ward 2 Councilor.