7th District: Sanchez, Savage race too close to call

It wouldn’t be City Council primary season in the jigsawed 7th District without friction.

Last week, challenger Danny Savage said getting heckled by supporters of incumbent Maria Quinones Sanchez at Norris Square Park endorsement event was “the worst kind of politics.” Sanchez countered that they were “outraged” Savage scheduled an event across the street from her home “out of spite.”

This upcoming week, former Councilman Daniel P. McElhatton expects “dueling negative direct-mail pieces” to flood the district, like those which painted him a “cop-killer supporter” days before his 1995 loss to Rick Mariano.

Yesterday, it manifested itself as FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby and District Attorney Seth Williams endorsing Sanchez. Savage “said he would not go negative, but went negative for the entire 45 minutes,” McNesby said of an endorsement meeting he didn’t attend.

“I’m sorry they think the truth about her record isn’t negative, but voters do,” responded Savage, who briefly served as councilman after Mariano’s 2006 corruption conviction. “Her sole accomplishment is calling for more parades.”

Sanchez said she thinks Savage getting most ward-leader support will help with voters who support her to defy the party. “Even with low turnout, people are upset. They think the party turned its back on them,” she said. “I felt momentum building in the 2007 campaign, but it’s even stronger this time around.”

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