Yoon weighs mayoral run -- in a maybe sort of way

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Oct. 1, 2008

Based on language on invitations printed and passed out for a fundraiser held this month in California, Boston's daily newspapers ran a story framing City Councillor Sam Yoon as a possible candidate for mayor of Boston in 2009.

Although Yoon and his new spokesperson, Curtis Ellis, were both determined to leave the possibility of a Yoon run open (and what aspiring politician would weigh down their name if it was floated anywhere as lofty?), the hullabaloo about 2009 seems based more on a slow news week than an impending reality.

Yoon, like a handful of other councillors, would not completely rule out a mayoral run in 2009. There is presumably a particular set of conditions that would need to exist to make throwing the hat in the ring a reality. A free-for-all for the post or the current incumbent stepping down have been mentioned by some as prime motivators. In other words, anything can happen.

"Now is not the time to make a decision on this," Yoon told the Reporter late last week, calling in from his fundraising and Obama-backing expedition in California. "There are so few Korean-Americans elected to office in this country. I have gotten to know people who are really enthusiastic about what I'm doing with my career."

The Fields Corner pol has recently visited Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco in his capacity as an inspirational force in Korean-American and Asian communities.

Ellis confirmed that Yoon's office was not involved with and did not approve the wording of the invitations, sent out for a San Francisco cocktail party, which touted him as the future first Asian mayor of Boston.

"I'm actually quite focused on getting a new president, Barack Obama in particular," said Yoon.

Perhaps the most telling detail, Yoon's current bank report, filed at the states Office of Campaign & Political Finance, shows a mere $1,756.69 on hand as of Sept. 15. Based on the would-be competition - Councillor Michael Flaherty Jr., who though he hasn't yet announced, has already socked away close to $400,000; and Mayor Thomas Menino with nearly $1 million in his war chest - Yoon will need to hold quite a few cocktail parties, and maybe would have by now if a full-hearted plan was in place.