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Briefings: The Holyoke Mayoral Field Multiplies Yet Again!…

UPDATED 6/30/21 3:59PM: To note a Lopez’s platform as described to the Gazette. 

Holyoke City Hall

Run! It’s a stampede…of candidates! (WMP&I)

The Holyoke mayoral contests appears to be galloping toward an eight-person field as the certification process winds down. Christopher Kosinksi, a lesser known figure who had pulled papers early on, has turned in sufficient signatures in recent days. Meanwhile, a former city councilor turned recurring electoral guest star has announced, he, too, is running.

Diosdado Lopez, a former Ward 2 Councilor and appointed at-large councilor, pulled papers in recent days. Neither candidate has filed with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance as they must if they raise or spend money. However, with plenty of time collect signatures it would certainly be unwise to bet against Lopez making the ballot. That would all but ensure an eight-way in the September 21 preliminary.

As of this posting six of the candidates have been certified for the ballot according to the Holyoke City Clerk’s office. In addition to Kosinksi, academic Gloria Caballero-Roca, Blandford town manager Joshua Garcia, at-large city councilor Rebecca Lisi, at-large School Committee Devin Sheehan and at-large councilor Michael Sullivan have submitted enough signatures.

Former mayoral aide Billy Glidden confirmed in a text he will be submitting signatures soon. The deadline is July 27.

If history is any guide, the newcomers are unlikely to leap to the front of the pack—for now, at least.

Without an OCPF report, there is little publicly available about Kosinksi. News reports have described him merely as a resident.

Lopez, the first Latino to serve on the City Council, does not seem much stronger. Despite 20 years on the City Council from Ward 2, his more recent electoral forays have not gone as well. He left his Ward 2 seat in 2011. He made a comeback when the Council appointed him to fill Jennifer Chateauneuf’s term. Yet, he failed to win an at-large seat in his own right in 2017.

He’s back! Lopez in an undated photo. (via Facebook/non-campaign)

However, Lopez could still affect the mayor’s race. On a superficial level, Lopez and Garcia could cannibalize votes among Latino residents. However, there is no reason to assume this segment of the electorate will vote in such a manner. Former mayor Alex Morse held his own among Latino voters even when Latino names were on the ballot with him.

Rather, the impact may be more apparent at the coalitional level. Sullivan, the city councilor—and not the former mayor—is aiming to consolidate conservative voters. Lopez’s record of late suggests he could appeal to the same people.

Although not unheard of, over their 75-year history in the city, most Latinos have not been Paleo-Holyokers of the type that vehemently opposed Morse. Lopez decidedly was. During his time as an at-large councilor, he picked fights with Morse and even tried to slash his salary. If Lopez and Sullivan both draw from conservative voters, neither may advance to November.

Neither Kosinksi nor Lopez could be reached as of posting time. However, Lopez told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that public safety, blight and improve services would be among his priorities as mayor.