Somerville Ward 5 Alderman Sean O’Donovan was defeated in last night’s Democratic Caucus for Register of Probate of Middlesex County despite his supporters’ attempts to deceive other delegates into believing that he had been endorsed by third-place candidate Maria Sheehy. O’Donovan finished in second place to Medford attorney Tara DeChristofaro [link to her intro post on BlueMassGroup].
Today’s article in the Lowell Sun Democrats pick Medford lawyer for Middlesex register of probate reports:
After being eliminated, Sheehy approached DeChristofaro and gave her a hug, telling her she was pulling for her to win. But as delegates made their way through the aisles to cast their final ballots, supporters of O’Donovan were brazenly telling people that Sheehy had endorsed the Somerville alderman.
Asked whether she had, in fact, endorsed O’Donovan, Sheehy defiantly said: “I did not.”
Sheehy then ran to the lobby and started shouting to be heard above the crowd that DeChristofaro and not O’Donovan had her support. Organizers for O’Donovan’s campaign said afterward that a few volunteers took it upon themselves to spread the false information.
Update: An article by George Hassett on the The Somerville News blog O’Donovan second at register of probate caucus (posted yesterday after the caucus) writes:
Despite 13 candidates and multiple ballots, the voting was relatively uneventful until third-place finisher Maria Sheehy accused the O’Donovan campaign of falsely claiming her endorsement before the final vote.
“Your people are telling people I’m with you,” Sheehy said to O’Donovan in the midst of a crowd of delegates. “I’m with Tara DeCristofaro. Be honest. This is why you’re losing.”
O’Donovan denied to Sheehy that anyone from his campaign had said she was supporting him but apologized for any confusion in his concession speech.
The report about O’Donovan’s supporters’ deceptive tactics are confirmed, at least second-hand, by comments to the Somerville Journal’s article PolitickerMA, video: Registry of Probate worker to replace Buonomo on ballot .
Update: Jeremy Jacobs at PolitikerMA.com live-blogged the caucus and reported that O’Donovan’s people were spreading the misinformation about the false endorsement. From Democratic caucus for Middlsex Register of Probate nominee:
9:37 p.m.: WALTHAM — Things just got more interesting here as several delegates told PolitickerMA.com that representatives of Sean O’Donovan were incorrectly telling delegates that Maria Sheehy had endorsed their candidate before the fourth ballot. Sheehy set the record straight, announcing to delegates at the voting tables that she did not endorse O’Donovan but is endorsing Tara DeCristofaro.
“It got ugly,” one delegate told PolitickerMA.com. “I think there are grounds to protest this vote.”
Update: Read more about this on BlueMassGroup here : Caucus Thread II
[Note: I did not attend the caucus, nor have I personally heard first-hand accounts from attendees to verify this information. Please add your comments if you attended or have an opinion about this story.]