A political bombshell was dropped on Monday when both Michael and Coreen Gaffney announced their withdrawals from their respective campaigns.
Mr. Gaffney’s departure from the City Councilor At-Large race will certainly make more waves across Worcester’s city government than his wife, Coreen, deciding to withdraw from the District 4 City Council race.
We anticipate that Mayor Joe Petty, Kate Toomey and Konnie Lukes are all but guaranteed another term on the council. We would have put Gaffney in that group as well if he had remained in the race.
By removing his name for consideration, Gaffney is ultimately opening the door for one of the four remaining candidates running for an At-Large seat — namely Gary Rosen, Benjamin Straight, Morris Bergman and Khrystian King.
In all likelihood, some of the votes that were going to go to Gaffney will wind up between Lukes and Rosen.
Bergman and King both narrowly beat out Juan Gomez in the 2015 municipal election by less than 200 votes.
The real winner in the fallout of Gaffney’s exit is Rosen. Being a familiar name on the ballot, being a current member on the council representing District 5, and garnering some of Gaffney’s votes should help him secure that sixth and final spot — with Straight being the odd man out when all is said and done.
With Coreen Gaffney withdrawing from the District 4 city council race — Sarai Rivera will be the second female district councilor running unopposed [Candy Mero-Carlson in District 2 is the other] and will move on to serve her fourth two-year term on the council.
Although the Gaffneys didn’t say what they were going to be doing or where they were going, they left the door open on their way out and an opportunity for others to step in.