THE ADVOCATE ASKS: Rep. Donald Wong’s two challengers react to his victory and discuss political plans
Editor’s Note: For this week, we sought reaction from the two Saugus men who challenged State Rep. Donald Wong in Tuesday’s election race for the Ninth Essex District House seat. Wong defeated Matthew Crescenzo, a U.S. Army veteran and 2011 Saugus High School graduate who is running as a Democratic candidate in his first political race; and former Saugus Selectman candidate Michael A. Coller, who ran unsuccessfully as an unenrolled candidate. Here are their email responses to several questions posed by The Saugus Advocate.
Q: After the months of campaigning, what do you take away from this experience, running for political office for the first time?
Crescenzo: It was a great experience. So many people invited me into their homes, shared their life stories and experiences with me, talked to me about their personal struggles and the things that mattered most to them. That was always very humbling and I will forever appreciate the faith and trust placed in me that comes with someone sharing intimate details of their life.
Q: Do you plan on running again in the future, for this office or some of the town offices (Selectmen, School Committee and Town Meeting are up next year)?
Crescenzo: At the time of this writing it hasn’t even been twenty-four hours, so while I can’t say for sure what my next step is, I truly am committed to serving others. It started with my time in the military and this was another way for me to serve. I am a Team Rubicon member (a veteran organization that assists during national disasters, events, and local community crises). I haven’t been able to do much with them because of the campaign. Maybe now I can find the time to help out on some of their service projects (house builds, parade services, etc). I do know that I won’t be disappearing any time soon and I look forward to finding ways to stay involved in the community and helping others.
Coller: 2015-2018 has shown me the feeble side of folks that become Town Government and Elected Officials only to embrace power that they lack internally as courteous human beings. In other words, “wishy washy wanderers in a vile venomous arena that find solace in a den of iniquity.” I’ll find my way “into that den” where the “Fab Five” (Coller’s nickname for the Board of Selectmen during his campaign against them last year) inhabit and ruin their party. Coming soon during my run for Selectman in 2019. Coller’s “Cantankerous Campaign” will surely be something special. Fact.
Q: Do you plan on working with Rep. Wong on some of the issues you are most concerned about?
Crescenzo: I decided to run because I believed there was some serious and tough issues that our community needed to start having conversations about. We certainly believe we started some dialogue and were glad to see Representative Wong talking about some of the same things in the last few weeks leading up to the election. As I stated above, I truly did this out of the desire to serve my community, if Representative Wong is ever interested in working with me on any of the issues discussed, I certainly am willing to work with him on addressing concerns in our community.
Coller: Furthermore, until then (next year’s town elections), I don’t plan on assisting anyone in their endeavors. I’ll do it myself.
Q: Anything else that you would like to share?
Crescenzo: I would like to thank my friends, family, and loved ones who supported my decision from day one. I also want to thank my amazing team and volunteers for all their hard work. A special thanks to all my supporters and for everyone that went out and participated in our democracy. I want to congratulate Representative Wong on his victory and hope he can take some of the ideas discussed during this campaign with him to the State House. Mark, thanks to you as well for all your hard work and dedication to giving the people of Saugus a fair take on the current events every week.
Coller: “I got testicular fortitude, a fist as big as “Hell Boy”, decisive wit and intellect that cannot be challenged by any living breathing human in the Town of Saugus. My despicable treatment by the “Fab Five” has created the impetus that has launched me into a political “tizzy” which I will continue to forge and pave until each and everyone of them are out of office. Put your money on me if your the “betting type.” My Selectman Campaign begins in 2019 to warm my seat for 2020. Stay tuned Saugus, put on your seatbelt, I’m driving and it’s gonna be a rough road.” This is just a small piece of my agenda. Our Town Government consists of weak, feeble minded wishy washy wimps that are overridden by their spouses and “stuffed” envelopes.