Also attending the celebration was former Navy Seal Gabriel Gomez of Cohasset, a Republican candidate in the June 25 special election for the United States Senate.
“It shows a lot of enthusiasm on the Republican side,” he said of Cole’s victory, downplaying the slim turnout.
In a special election, organization was and is considered crucial. But Cole dismissed the idea that her organization’s reliance on out-of-town support makes her vulnerable in the final election. She noted triumphantly that “enough people” in Peabody showed interest in her candidacy last night.
She added, “After the primary, it gets a little easier because you can get more support from the Republican Party.”
At Bunn campaign headquarters in an upstairs space on Walnut Street, a handful of grim-faced supporters sat on folding chairs, ignoring the blue sheet cake with the candidate’s name on it — just a few small slices were missing.
“I’m really proud of the way our organization conducted itself,” said Bunn, who pledged to support Cole. Bunn had had the support of the Republican City Committee chairman and had ties to former GOP candidate for governor Charlie Baker. Yet, he said softly, “We were heavily outspent. We created our organization. ... And we were only 52 votes off from someone who had the support of a national organization.”
Bunn’s campaign manager, Joe Walsh, had noted earlier that Cole was running with the backing of people previously allied with libertarian Republican Ron Paul.
“Turnout hurt us,” Bunn said.
For her part, Griffin Dunne was upbeat, while quickly adding, “Tomorrow, we’re back on the campaign trail.” She was well aware that she’d garnered more votes than Cole. “I’ve got good people helping me.”
Looking back, Griffin Dunne added, “Leah Cole and Greg Bunn have been very nice.” They’ve been nice to her and to each other, she pointed out. “It’s been a very good race so far.”