Lisa White could shake up the at-large city council race in New Bedford and earn a two-year term from the voters.

This is her second run for the council and it is clear she learned some important lessons from her first effort.

The retirement of City Councilor Deb Coelho has created a rare opportunity for a new person to get elected in a city that traditionally re-elects incumbent politicians. White has run a more traditional campaign than she did two years ago. Last time around, she didn't use yard signs or sidewalk sign-holding events with her supporters. This election season, she has used signs to build her name recognition in the city.

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She is also doing door-to-door campaigning, having spent hundreds of dollars on door hangers. The people of New Bedford like to vote for people who are asking for their vote and sending supporters door to door to increase momentum. White has also invested in a radio campaign to reach her fellow property owners.

White benefits from the spelling of her name and the spelling of all the other candidates in the at-large race. White will be the last name on the ballot, so anybody who votes from the bottom of the ballot will give her free votes.

She also benefits from an electorate that votes for and re-elects women to office. Linda Morad, the retiring Coelho, and Naomi Carney fill at-large seats today. Ward 2 has elected and re-elected Maria Giesta in the past few elections. Gender matters to some voters, and it appears to benefit women candidates in New Bedford.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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