Candidate’s Night: Up Against Councilor Holmes

October 31,1983                              Gloucester, Massachusetts

My campaign for City Council was not going well. I had no budget, no signs posted, and was working 2 jobs, both out of Gloucester. Kathryn Hollett, my campaign manager was unavailable most of the last six weeks prior to election day; she was attending Tufts Medical School.The son of a prominent liberal in my ward had decided to support  the incumbent Bill Holmes- I later learned he was angry about my support for LGBT rights…his wife had come out as a lesbian & he was still bitter. I had missed all of the debates and was running a temperature of 103 degrees on the night of the last candidates forum. In between a few hallucinations about dragons I decided I should push myself to show up. Not sure how I made it there without crashing my 1976 Dodge Aspen and not sure how the Gloucester Police didn’t notice the cannabis sativa plants growing in the carpeting behind the driver’s seat.  I was given 5 minutes like each of the other candidates and used that 5 minutes to speak in support of nurses unionizing at the Addison Gibert Hospital, to call  for a citywide response to domestic violence, and support affirmative action in city hiring. I also responded to Holmes’ contention that Socialism was ant-i democratic, contending that expanding the voice of the working class meant more participatory democracy. Holmes made a jingoistic appeal to support the U.S. Marines who had invaded Grenada, which he mispronounced as “Granada”. Holmes spent the rest of his time talking up plans for a bridge restoration in Annisquam. The Gloucester Times reporter responded very positively to my speech (Not enough to stop his paper from endorsing Holmes for reelection. Overall, it was a pretty good night.


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Written by PaulPallazola

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