North End City Councilor Sal LaMattina, who ran unopposed in 2011 will face two challengers in the upcoming city election.
In 2011 LaMattina finished up with 4,158 votes in Ward I, which included the North End, Charlestown. He will square off against two Eastie residents, Brian Gannon and John Ribiero Jr. during the Sept. 24 municipal primary.
Both Gannon and Ribiero have been active in â€˜No Eastie Casinoâ€™â€”a group of local residents dedicated to stopping a resort-style casino from being built at Suffolk Down Racetrack.
Ribiero is a former probation officer and longtime supporter of drug abuse and mental health programs in the neighborhood. Aside from his career in criminal justice system, Ribiero was the former owner of a diner that was ironically on the road that leads to Suffolk Downs.
Gannon is a young professional that moved to Eastie three years ago and became involved in the No Eastie Casino movement.
Requests for statements were sent to the emails that both Ribiero and Gannon recorded with the Boston Election Department. Neither request was answered as of press time.
Of drawing two candidates, LaMattina said he welcomed the challenge.
â€œI look forward to having a challenger,â€ said LaMattina. â€œI love campaigning and being able to get out in the neighborhoods and talk to people about the issues that concern them.â€
LaMattina a life-long Eastie resident said the door to his office has always been open to all residents in his district.
â€œResponding to the questions and concerns of the people of District 1 remains the most important part of my job, and the residents and businesses in East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End should always know that a phone call, letter or email to my office means that their concern will be addressed immediately and that there will be follow-up. This is a commitment I take very seriously.â€
LaMattina was first elected during a special election to fill former City Councilor Paul Scapicchioâ€™s seat in 2006.
LaMattina is chairman of the Committee on City and Neighborhood Services and Veterans Affairs and also serves as vice chair the Committee on Ways and Means.
He is also the Vice President of the City Council.