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Briefings: Who We Missed Ahead of Holyoke’s Mayoral Preliminary…

Holyoke debate

The candidates at a Holyoke Chamber of Commerce/Taxpayers Associate Debate. (via Holyoke Taxpayers/Chamber & Holyoke Media)

Readers may have noticed that there are seven candidates running for mayor, but only five were profiled. Still, it is very possible that one of them will advance beyond the Tuesday preliminary.

Chris Kosinski, a newcomer to Holyoke politics could not be reached for an interview. One of the glories of the American system is that anybody can run for office, if they can otherwise clear the very low thresholds for certification. If that sounds a bit snarky—it is.

Kosinski is new—brand new—to Holyoke politics and he has not done the work of other candidates. He did not appear at candidate events until the Holyoke Taxpayers/Chamber of Commerce event. He has raised no money and has no other discernable presence beyond appearing at that candidate event.

At-large City Councilor Michael Sullivan is another matter. He is not the former mayor of the same name. Having served three terms on the Council, he has independent name recognition.

A spokesperson last week declined to make him available before the election.

Without the benefit of an interview, there is a fairness question about how best to address the totality of his record. Sullivan has faced criticism for comments about panhandlers. He took a particularly visible role after complaints about former mayor Alex Morse—then a congressional candidates—materialized and then imploded.

But do we really know Sully? (via Twitter/@michaeljsulliv4)

As a candidate, Sullivan has frequently cited the need and potential for green jobs. At the same time, he called for lifting a natural gas moratorium. This does not distinguish him much from some rivals. Like his opponents, he has called for investment and job growth. What is less clear is how he would do that or how his approach stands out compared to recent mayors and other candidates.

Sullivan told The Republican’s editorial board he would work with state educational officials and the receiver-superintendent. Echoing his opponents, he promised to take a more active role on the School Committee as mayor.

There are many more areas to cover and, hopefully, Sullivan will do so if he advances to November.