Samiyah gets spooky. Plus, who on earth is John Kelleher?

Second Suffolk update
By ADAM REILLY  |  August 30, 2006


Sonia Chang-Díaz
With all due respect to the various candidates for governor, the state Senate race in the Second Suffolk district is probably the most fascinating electoral contest of ’06. Dianne Wilkerson, the inspiring-and-infuriating incumbent, is running a write-in campaign to keep her job after failing to gather the 300 signatures necessary to get on the primary ballot. In the September 19 Democratic primary, she’ll face Samiyah Diaz, who happens to be a Republican (see “Potemkin Candidate,” News and Features, May 18); Sonia Chang-Díaz (emphasis added), who is, in fact, a Democrat; and possibly some guy named John Kelleher, about whom no one seems to know very much.

More on Kelleher later — but first, let’s parse the Samiyah Diaz TV ad that debuted last week. It’s weird for a couple of reasons. First off, it portrays the South End as a barren cityscape that’s rife with crime, when the neighborhood — though not without the occasional shooting — is actually bustling and highly desirable. (Diaz makes too much of those bars on the windows of “garden-level” apartments; she also looks to have filmed her spot early on a weekend morning so that the streets would be unusually empty.) Second, Diaz — who’s a very attractive woman — ends up looking like some sort of spooky vagrant, an impression exacerbated by the fact that the eerie music used to set the stage keeps playing as she talks to the camera!

Back to Kelleher. The possibility of a fourth candidate jumping into the write-in race surfaced on the political blog Blue Mass Group several days ago, but the man and his candidacy remain enigmatic. The state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) has received no paperwork for a committee affiliated with “John Kelleher”; the two phone numbers Google provides for “John Kelleher” in Boston don’t help (one is disconnected, one just keeps ringing); and a source close to one of the actually existent campaigns professed ignorance about who Kelleher might be. The best guess: it’s the same John Kelleher who served as a state rep some three decades ago, went on to dabble in real estate, and calls Jamaica Plain’s Moss Hill neighborhood home.

In the coming days, watch for a dramatic entrance by the Mysterious Mr. K. And keep your eyes on the various campaigns’ first filings with OCPF, which should be available online (at mass.gov/ocpf) as of September 12. They’ll offer some additional clarity — just a bit, anyway — about a race that defies easy prediction.

  Topics: This Just In , U.S. Government, U.S. State Government, Election Campaigns,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ADAM REILLY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BULLY FOR BU!  |  March 12, 2010
    After six years at the Phoenix , I recently got my first pre-emptive libel threat. It came, most unexpectedly, from an investigative reporter. And beyond the fact that this struck me as a blatant attempt at intimidation, it demonstrated how tricky journalism's new, collaboration-driven future could be.
  •   STOP THE QUINN-SANITY!  |  March 03, 2010
    The year is still young, but when the time comes to look back at 2010's media lowlights, the embarrassing demise of Sally Quinn's Washington Post column, "The Party," will almost certainly rank near the top of the list.
  •   RIGHT CLICK  |  February 19, 2010
    Back in February 2007, a few months after a political neophyte named Deval Patrick cruised to victory in the Massachusetts governor's race with help from a political blog named Blue Mass Group (BMG) — which whipped up pro-Patrick sentiment while aggressively rebutting the governor-to-be's critics — I sized up a recent conservative entry in the local blogosphere.
  •   RANSOM NOTES  |  February 12, 2010
    While reporting from Afghanistan two years ago, David Rohde became, for the second time in his career, an unwilling participant rather than an observer. On October 29, 1995, Rohde had been arrested by Bosnian Serbs. And then in November 2008, Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were en route to an interview with a Taliban commander when they were kidnapped.
  •   POOR RECEPTION  |  February 08, 2010
    The right loves to rant against the "liberal-media elite," but there's one key media sector where the conservative id reigns supreme: talk radio.

 See all articles by: ADAM REILLY