Lantigua takes on Devers

The colorful and controversial William Lantigua made it official: He intends to run for his old House seat representing Lawrence as an independent. He still has to submit 150 voter signatures by Tuesday, but that shouldn’t be a big hurdle for a man who has been a fixture in Lawrence politics as mayor and state rep since 2002.

The current officeholder is Marcos Devers, the man Lantigua endorsed for the House seat when he reluctantly gave up the job after being elected mayor in 2009. Devers ran for mayor last year but came in third in the preliminary election behind Lantigua and Daniel Rivera. Rivera went on to upset Lantigua by 81 votes.


Lantigua, who is known outside Lawrence primarily for the many scandals involving his administration, told the Eagle-Tribune that his supporters urged him to get back into politics. “There is a void there because we have not seen anything being done and I feel proud that citizens are asking me to run because of the good job I did,” he said.

The campaign is likely to revolve around Lantigua, a polarizing figure in Lawrence who is beloved by many residents but also a symbol of corruption to others in the community. A former top aide, Leonard Degnan, was convicted of bribery in March for pressuring a waste disposal contractor to donate a garbage truck to a city in the Dominican Republic, where Lantigua is from originally. Lantigua’s former deputy police chief and a former campaign photographer are also facing charges.

A federal grand jury is also investigating allegations that Lantigua improperly used city paving contracts to win votes in the mayoral race. Lantigua repaved streets in every precinct, but concentrated the work in areas where he needed votes the most.

Devers vs. Lantigua will be a grudge match. Lantigua endorsed Devers for his old House seat but then Devers ran against Lantigua for mayor last year. Devers came in third in the preliminary election with 1,907 votes, well behind Rivera (2,799) and Lantigua (5,725). Lantigua, perhaps overconfident, made what some consider a fatal error by failing to court any of the other candidates. All of them, including Devers, endorsed Rivera in the final. If Rivera now returns the favor and supports Devers in the House race, the campaign could get very interesting.



Gov. Deval Patrick signs an anti-bullying bill, the Associated Press reports.

The New England Center for Investigative Reporting finds that Bay State lawmakers, like their colleagues in New Jersey, New York, and Minnesota don’t pass many pieces of legislation. WGBH contributor David Bernstein responds by renewing his call to abolish the House. CommonWealth‘s Spring 2012 issue detailed a marked fall in the hours legislators have spent in session since the 1980s.


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In a blog post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tries to set the record straight on the agency’s open Internet rules.

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