By Em Nguyen
BU News Service
Hoping to replace former state Senator Jack Hart, two candidates surprised caucus goers and butted heads in Dorchester when they both decided to use the nominating caucus to introduce themselves to the Dorchester residents.
Linda Dorcena Forry, from Dorchester, and Nick Collins, from South Boston, both appeared at the caucus on Saturday where the attendees were simply there to nominate delegates for the Democratic state convention.
“I didn’t know they were coming,” Ava Callender, 24, from Mattapan said. Callender attended for the nomination process. “But I’m glad they did. I know more now.”
“There is so much to happen in these last 80 days,” said Rep. Forry, who currently represents the 12th Suffolk District which covers parts of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Milton, and Mattapan. “I have to make sure people know where I stand. It’s going to be a sprint to the finish line.”
Collins, 30, a former staffer in Hart’s office, has served for the fourth Suffolk District, which includes South Boston and parts of Dorchester, since 2010. He said he wanted to make sure all voters know he is only there to help.
He said he wanted to “let the community know that as a State Senator [he] will be happy helping people gain many opportunities across the entire district,” including job opportunities and opportunities for greater public safety.
The audience nodded along as they heard about potential job opportunities.
Forry stated that “it is about all of us.” She is working hard to build “more coalitions” and “more partnerships,” but she needs all of “us” to “make a difference in education and social matters.”
After which someone whispered: “Amen sister.”
At the closing of her speech, Forry added that if anyone needed to see her, she and Collins shared the same office suite in Room 26, which was followed by surprised faces and awkward laughter.
“Forry. I like her,” said Michelle Young, from Mattapan, who has a family of four generations living in her home. “She was the only one of the two that spoke on a platform that we speak on, that we are concerned about. After-school programs affect us. Job opportunities affect me because I’m still seeking employment. We need someone like her.”
Jack Culhane, who once served as Holbrooke’s Town Committee Chairman, said the “caucus was very well attended” with about 40 people covering three long tables at the Perkins Community Center’s cafeteria.
“As for the candidates,” Culhane said, “they are very different. I certainly haven’t made up my mind about that election at all.”
After the speeches from Forry and Collins, two current City Councilor’s At-Large, Ayanna Pressley and Charles C. Yancey, presented a quick speech about reelections, followed by Michelle Wu, City council Candidate At-Large, who hopes to snag one of four vacant seats on Boston’s City Council.
All candidates were asked to leave when Ward 14 Democrats finally began the nomination process for choosing delegates for the Democratic state convention.
All signatures are due February 27, according to Darryl smith, Ward 14 Chairman, from Dorchester. Elections for State Senate are April 30 followed by special elections on May 28.
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