City Council District 1 candidate and North End resident Stephen Passacantilli gave a sincere speech Tuesday night at Filippo’s Ristorante after conceding the race to East Boston’s Lydia Edwards. Passacantilli garnered 64% of the vote in his home neighborhood of the North End, but he lost ground in the larger Charlestown and East Boston neighborhoods. In the total District 1 area, 53% percent sided with Edwards, while 47% percent voted for Passacantilli. [See Lydia Edwards Wins Election for District 1 City Council Seat]
“The results weren’t what we wanted,” Passacantilli said to kick off his concession speech. “I can’t believe I feel as relieved as I do, because this started on Marathon Monday last year and it’s been an extremely, extremely, extremely long campaign.”
Passacantilli, 42, spoke with his wife, Renée, and his children Evan and Grace by his side. With a full room of supporters looking on, he made sure to thank them for putting up with the last seven months of campaigning.
“It was a lot of peaks and valleys, and if anyone’s worked on a campaign or run for office they understand that there’s emotional highs and emotional lows,” Passacantilli said. “So I really want to thank them, I wouldn’t have ran if they weren’t cool with it anyways.”
Passacantilli also thanked current District 1 city councilor Sal LaMattina, who retires after 11 years as councilor. LaMattina hired Passacantilli as a constituent service liaison in 2006.
“[I] probably wouldn’t be here if Sal didn’t give me an opportunity to work for him in 2006,” Passacantilli said. “He didn’t have to do what he did for me and he did, and I fell in love with public service and because of that I took a shot at this, so I’m really grateful.”
Throughout his concession speech, Passacantilli said he felt relieved that the grueling campaign was over. He said that he will immediately return to his job as Director of Operations for the Boston Transportation Department.
“This is ironic, I feel very relieved right now and I feel really good right now, I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders,” Passacantilli said.
What could have been an upsetting night turned into somewhat of a proud moment for Passacantilli, who has been very open about his former battles with drug addiction. Now thirteen years sober, the lifelong North End resident said it was a miracle that he’s where he is today.
“I hope people know out there that you can turn it around,” Passacantilli said. “A lot of you guys knew me at my worst. … I turned it around because of people like you and my friends in the neighborhood and people who never turned their back on me and guys like Sal [LaMattina] and [Boston Mayor Marty Walsh] who were always there to support me.
“As most of you know, I’m a very loyal guy, and I’ll never forget what people have done for me. If you ever need anything, I will certainly be a phone call away.”
Nick Frazier is a journalism student at Boston University and contributor to NorthEndWaterfront.com.