SALEM — Not since Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at Jack Kennedy’s 45th birthday party, have this many Democrats looked forward to an event with so much pulse-throbbing anticipation.
Saturday’s Democratic city caucus promises to be a humdinger.
Although John Keenan is not showing up in a see-through dress covered in rhinestones — at least, we hope not — he did turn a few heads this week when he announced he will not seek re-election next year.
The floodgates have opened, and some of those — or maybe all — who are eyeing Keenan’s seat are expected to show up at the annual caucus to select delegates to the state convention, a rite of passage for Salem Democrats.
That crowd of potentially powerful politicos could include police Chief Paul Tucker, the only announced candidate; former Mayor Stanley Usovicz; former City Councilor Matt Veno; and Keenan’s chief of staff, Grace Harrington, the daughter of you-know-who.
All have expressed anywhere from mild to serious interest in the job.
We called other rumored candidates and were greeted by either laughter (Claudia Chuber, David Eppley and Kevin Harvey) or a rational explanation by a sane human being about how her children are a lot more important than politics right now (Republican Laura Swanson).
The caucus, by the way, starts at 10 a.m. at Salem High.
It has been six months since Hugh Kerr died and still no word on the cause of death.
Kerr, 61, a prominent local businessman, was pronounced dead at Salem Hospital on Aug. 27 after being found unresponsive in his cell at the Salem police station. He had been arrested in a domestic incident at his Chestnut Street home.
In cases of an unattended death, especially one at a police station, an autopsy is performed by the state medical examiner’s office. That autopsy has not been done.