Six weeks ago Saugus businessman Frank Rich sat in his office on Condor street in East Boston and reflected on his slim prospects of coming up with the 40,000 signatures he would need to qualify as an independent candidate for governor on the November ballot. He had about 6500 good signatures in his possession, far short of what he would need by late May.
Rich decided to launch the effort immediately in one final push to get his own name on the ballot this year. He took the radio route he employed so much when he first announced his candidacy and concentrated on the central and western part of the state. He appeared on a number of radio talk shows and urged listeners to get official papers and begin gathering signatures for him. It was a long shot, and Rich had no idea how well it would fare until mid- May, when hundreds of sheets bearing signatures began arriving at his campaign headquarters. A check revealed that most of the signatures were authentic and valid.
Rich and his wife are leaving this week for a two-week vacation in the Virgin Islands. When they return on June 28, fund-raising and expansion of the campaign organization will be the primary tasks. The real campaign for Rich won't get under way until September, after Democrats and Republicans make their choices for the November finale with him.