McCarthy thinks Hochman would be “the perfect candidate. But he says this isn’t the right time for him.” Absent Hochman, he is also enthusiastic about Cole and Bunn, “two candidates working very hard.”
And even if they fail, they will benefit from the experience, McCarthy said.
“You’ll see them later on,” he said. “It’s party building. You’ve got to run in these races.”
A former city councilor, McCarthy thinks the district has improved for Republicans since he ran in 2004. For example, he said, the Legislature has moved the Route 1 mobile home parks — presumed to be a Democratic stronghold — into the district of Democratic Rep. Ted Speliotis, who was looking vulnerable in his previous district, an area including Danvers and part of Peabody.
McCarthy also sees the possibility that Griffin Dunne and Gravel will split the regular Democratic vote, allowing an opening for a GOP competitor.
In any case, McCarthy paints a dark future for the Democrats.
“People are going to see all these taxes,” he said. And little will result from “those pipe dreams, like high-speed rail lines everywhere, that the governor has.”
Both Hochman and McCarthy are touting a long-term strategy for Peabody that assumes an underlying sympathy for Republican issues. The pair hopes to build a strong team by running candidates for citywide offices like light commissioner, School Committee member and city councilor.
“We’re rolling out a number of candidates for different offices,” Hochman said. “We’re making a determined effort to infuse local government with Republicans.”
As a school board member, Hochman is one of the only Republicans in Peabody holding such an office. He cited Scott Frasca as a GOP loyalist intending to run for an at-large City Council seat.
“There’s strong support for Republicans in this city,” he said.