LAWRENCE — Police Captain Scott McNamara knows that several of Mayor William Lantigua’s close allies are facing criminal corruption charges, that the mayor slashed the police force and then faulted officers for rising crime. And McNamara certainly knows that Lantigua faced two recall campaigns, because McNamara backed them.
But now McNamara, president of the Police Superior Officers Association, is backing Lantigua, and he even donated $350 to the mayor’s bid for a second term.
McNamara is among a wave of unexpected supporters who have catapulted Lantigua to front-runner in the Nov. 5 election against Daniel Rivera, a city councilor and Gulf War veteran. In the preliminary elections last month, Lantigua received the highest number of votes, and the city’s firefighters endorsed him this month, though he had clashed with them, as well.
“The last year and a half has been great,” McNamara said by phone, emphasizing that his support is personal and that the union is not endorsing any candidate. “He’s been a big reason why.”
Lantigua’s popularity, coupled with an about-face by one-time enemies, is puzzling outsiders and infuriating critics after his stormy first term.
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