Wellesley election aftermath: School Committee runner-up calls out political group’s email

The tense Wellesley election season didn’t really end on Tuesday, when voters went to the polls.

Yes, the results are final, including Craig Mack‘s victory over Neal Glick for a three-year seat on the School Committee by 500-plus votes.

But an email distributed a few days before the election by the Wellesley Democratic Town Committee to its mailing list (but that inevitably spread beyond that target audience as online things tend to do) angered Glick’s team. The letter, which urged residents to vote for Mack, cited Glick’s affiliation with the “right wing astroturf group” called Wellesley Concerned Parents, and described Glick’s “well-run, well-funded campaign” as having “capitalized on parental discontent over COVID restrictions and disruptions in learning.”

References to smearing and cyberbullying have been exchanged.

The Glick for School Committee Facebook page shared a message on Feb. 27 from Glick in which he criticized “a political group in Town” for circulating emails badmouthing him. “I have learned that the best way to deal with bullies—cyber or otherwise—is to stand up to them,” he wrote, vowing to fight bullying if he were to win the School Committee seat.

His letter also read in part: “I want you all to know that the group’s desperate attempt to smear me is a sign that our campaign is succeeding. I see that every day on the trail. After all, smear tactics are most often used when substance cannot be.” Glick emphasized that he is not politically affiliated, nor did his campaign receive “a penny from any organization, political or otherwise.”

Wellesley Democratic Town Committee co-chairs Susan Ryan and Katie Griffith issued a statement in which they said the group stays out of town elections as a general rule, and that the group’s email was consistent with this approach in that it was sent to those on its mailing list, not posted more widely in a newsletter or on its website.

“In this case, we decided to alert our members of our legitimate and deep concerns about the views espoused by Mr. Glick regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Black Lives Matter, and the views expressed on the website of the group that he founded, ‘Wellesley Concerned Parents,” that among other things, calls for the ‘elimination’ of the (non-existent) CRT teaching at the Wellesley Public Schools. Mr. Glick himself stated in his letter of candidacy that he was the founder of this group. We also expressed concerns over his prior government service in the Town of Wellesley. These are the kinds of issues that are important for our members to consider when they go to the polls.

“The election is over, and we can understand the disappointment of Mr. Glick and his supporters. Certainly we have all had our share of electoral losses. But to engage now in this effort to smear our Town Committee and its members, rather than graciously congratulating the winner and moving on, is deeply unfortunate.”

Following the election, Glick in email to his supporters looked at positives to take away from the results.

“About that election… it seems that we lost, and the numbers clearly bear that out. But did we? The forces for positive change got 44% of the vote. We lost by a mere 500 votes, and about half of that came from one precinct. We took Precinct C and came within a handful of votes in a few others. In short, in a compressed campaign put together in less than two months, we demonstrated that there is a growing and powerful constituency in Wellesley for CHANGE IN WPS….”

Meanwhile, Mack joined the School Committee for his first meeting as a member on March 2, the day after the election. He shared a few initial thoughts about 90 seconds into the Wellesley Media recording of the meeting. “I’m hopeful about our future as we work together to make a more positive and equitable environment for our students and our community at large. I know there’s a lot to do, and I’m ready to get to work…,” he said.

We did reach out to Wellesley Town Clerk KC Kato, curious if her office, like our inbox and post comments, had been receiving complaints in the wake of the election.

“We do receive complaints about many different things,” she said.