Two items caught my eye this morning in The Column:
(1) Ray Weicker, an Iraq veteran (a JAG and a PsyOps-qual'd Major with a Reserve Unit) is running for City Council. I wouldn't vote for someone on veteran status alone, but I think it would be neat to bring that type of recent, overseas problem-solving experience here. It seems like the griping about insider 'politics as usual' both on Beacon Hill and right here on Merrimack St. seems to be reaching a boiling point, as judged by the print media and the blogosphere. Of course, I don't have much to compare that to, and as Jeff Jacoby reminds us in his column today, those type of complaints have been with us for centuries.
(2) Franky Descoteaux, a downtown business owner (Mambo Grill, Humanity, Monkey's) is also running. This is going to be an obvious case of "homer"-ism, but all politics is local, and I would really like to see downtown formally represented in city government, especially by someone with such a huge stake in seeing it succeed. With recent changes to the downtown (most important of which may be the transfer of the hotel formerly known as the Doubletree), we're in a state of flux. Even though downtown is small in terms of size and population compared to many neighborhoods, it's still what many people think of when they consider where to eat, shop, or hang out in Lowell. For the city's image and its future direction, it's tremendously important.
With checkmarks also reserved for Paul Belley and Ryan Berard (both of whom I've heard speak and seem like very level-headed, earnest advocates for the entire city), that still leaves five more to spare.
But regardless of the way the other five go, that's still a heavy 'tilt' towards challengers from at least one voter this fall.