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FRAMINGHAM – The City of Framingham election is nonpartisan – in fact for decades the Town of Framingham elections were also nonpartisan.

But with a week to go before the 2021 City of Framingham election, the current mayor of Framingham is making it all about party politics.

The Yvonne Spicer for Mayor campaign issued a press release tonight, after 8, complaining that a Republican political action committee has donated money to her opponent.

Ironically, both Yvonne Spicer and her challenger Charlie Sisitsky are registered Democrats. Sisitsky has been a life-long Democrat, who has supported many high-profiled women Democrats including Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Framingham State Representatives Maria Robinson and Jack Patrick Lewis, two progressive Democrats, are supporting Sisitsky in the race.

Rep. Robinson is the first Korean-American elected to the State House in Massachusetts. Rep. Lewis is one of a handful of LGBTQ+ representatives.

Rep. Lewis, who voted for Spicer for Mayor not once but twice in 2017, is now supporting Sisitsky in 2021.

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“After four years of gross mismanagement, four years of absent leadership, four years of a go-it-alone attitude. The only way for Framingham to move forward is to come together as a diverse community and vote for a proven leader. And that person is Charlie,” he said at Sisitsky’s campaign kickoff.

“Today it was reported that the Republican-led Massachusetts Majority PAC has spent thousands of dollars in support of Charlie Sisitsky’s campaign to unseat incumbent Democrat Dr. Yvonne Spicer as Mayor of Framingham. Two years ago, this super PAC invested nearly $25,000 to support Janet Leombruno in a city council race she won by only 53 votes. Janet Leombruno is an elected member of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee, has endorsed Charlie Sisitsky for Mayor of Framingham,” wrote the Spicer campaign in a press release. “Since its incorporation in 2019, the Republican-led Massachusetts Majority PAC has now weighed in on every single local election in Framingham.”

“We should all be concerned that Republicans have invested dark money from a Super PAC in support of my opponent’s campaign,” said Spicer. “This is a continuation of the GOP’s deliberate strategy to take over Framingham’s local government. Two years ago, Republicans invested tens of thousands of dollars to elect local Trump-supporter Janet Leombruno to the Framingham City Council. Leombruno won her election by only 53 votes during a low turnout election and is now one of the chief architects of Charlie Sisitsky’s campaign for mayor. This is an aggressive attempt to chisel away at Framingham’s progressive and inclusive values by seating Republican-leaning candidates into office,” wrote Spicer.

But Spicer is wrong.

Leombruno is the only registered Republican on the 11-member City Council.

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Ten of the 11 City Councilors are registered Democrats, and several of the Democratic Councilors also serve in leadership positions in the Framingham Democratic Committee.

Eight of the 11 City Councilors are supporting Sisitsky for Mayor.

Eight of the nine School Committee members are supporting Sisitsky for Mayor, including its chair Adam Freudberg, another Democrat.

“It’s time we call this out for what it is. Charlie Sisitsky’s campaign is steered by a coalition of conservatives who have been campaigning to oust me since the first day I took office. They want to take Framingham back to a time when only the few and connected had the power to make decisions that impact all of us. If turnout in Framingham’s election remains low next week, they may very well succeed in electing their chosen candidate to lead our city,” wrote the Spicer campaign.

“The only PAC money that Charlie Sisitsky’s campaign has accepted in this election is from labor unions and notably, local ones.  He has not sought, nor accepted support from any Super PAC – ever. What is concerning in this election cycle is the exorbitant amount of money raised by the incumbent mayor from sources outside Framingham,” said the Sisitsky campaign.

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“Since January 2021, 78% of the money she has raised came from outside our community, and barely a third of her campaign contributors during that same time live in Framingham.  This mayoral election is still a local, non-partisan race that will be decided by Framingham voters: people that live and work in Framingham, people that pay taxes here, people who send their children to school here and people who are concerned about municipal executive leadership that focuses on public education, the environment, our seniors, economic development and respectful, inclusive civic engagement – precisely the issues that Charlie Sisitsky’s campaign is focused on, and the very same issues that Charlie has spent decades advocating for in our community,” said the Sisitsky campaign.

In September there were 3 candidates for Mayor. At the September 14 preliminary election, the two candidates with the highest number of votes moved on to the November 2 ballot.

Sisitsky received about 66% of the vote.

Sisitsky received more than 4,400 votes while Spicer received under 2,000 votes.

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“The incumbent’s desperate last-minute effort at fear-mongering and misrepresenting that our campaign had anything to do with the entity in question is not surprising from someone who is unable to run on her own record because it so abysmal. To suggest this campaign was orchestrated by Republicans when it has been endorsed and supported and in no small part led by stalwart lifelong Democrats like Representative Jack Lewis, Representative Maria Robinson, City Council Chair George King, and School Committee Chair Adam Freudburg, is laughable. Charlie himself is a lifelong Democrat who has an enviable record of supporting women candidates including Deb Goldberg, Shannon O’Brien, Martha Coakley, Maura Healey, Katherine Clark and Karen Spilka to name a few. Once again the incumbent ignores facts that don’t support her woefully false and fraudulent narrative,” said the Sisitsky Campaign.

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, November 2. Click here for the SOURCE election guide to the Mayoral and the other races.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.