Natale reflects on past two terms

WOBURN - State Representative Patrick Natale admitted to being blindsided by Ward 4 Alderman Jim Dwyer's easy victory over the incumbent in Tuesday's primary elections for the 30th Middlesex District.

Gathered with supporters at the St. Anthony's Club in North Woburn after the polls closed last night, Natale credited his challenger for a well-organized campaign and speculated that Dwyer's City Hall connections gave him a giant boost.

In Woburn, Natale captured just short of 36 percent of ballots cast, finishing with 1,605 votes to his challenger's 2,817. The incumbent also lost every single ward across Woburn and was only able to carry a 51 vote victory in Ward 6, Precinct 2 — his home turf.

Dwyer also won by a small margin in Stoneham's lone voting precinct, where Natale had been quite popular over the past four years.

Natale did carry the Town of Reading by a 100 vote margin, but the victory in those three wards wasn't enough to swallow up the challenger's gains in Woburn and Stoneham.

"Yeah," responded Natale, when asked if he was surprised by the results. "I've been here for four years and I've done an awful lot for Woburn, Reading, and Stoneham."

"My view from the beginning was do your job and you'll get re-elected," continued the incumbent, who raked in significant funding for local projects during his tenure. "I think at the end of the day, you have a guy who's been downtown for a while. And I'm not downtown."

According to the West Dexter Avenue resident, he was perhaps most stung by his defeat in North Woburn, the ward that he calls home.

However, Natale reflected, he's seen stranger things happen in the world of politics over the past four years.

"It's a funny business. You can never predict what people want or think. I just hope that I represented the district well. And you know what, maybe 10 years from now I'll look back [and see that I did]," the two-term legislator commented.

"I lost North Woburn, which is my home base. And I've never lost up here. People have a certain feeling and its based on who they feel can do the job. And they think he can do the job better," Natale added. "He did a good job and worked hard. Never underestimate hard work."

Natale was first elected to his Beacon Hill seat in 2004, when he easily defeated challenger Paul Meaney Sr. by over 3,000 votes. The lawyer would later earn a second term in 2006 during his unopposed reelection bid.

According to Natale, when he first gained the seat four-years-ago, he knew it wouldn't become a lifelong career.

While the father-of-four now plans to focus more on his children, the West Dexter Avenue resident didn't rule out another bid for public office.

"I have a very simple view of life: Work hard and everything will be okay," said Natale, who left his job as a carpenter to obtain his business and law degrees. "I'm actually looking forward to this next phase in my life."

"It was very fortunate to have this job for four years. I made a lot of friends. I don't know what the future holds, but this probably won't be the last time you hear from me," said Natale.

© 2000 Woburn Daily Times Inc.