Reporter’s Notebook: Who’s on the ballot

By 
Reporter Staff
Jun. 18, 2009

It’s official: Boston voters will see 15 candidates on the City Council At-Large portion of the ballot.

Current City Councillors At-Large Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon are facing off against Mayor Thomas Menino for the top job at City Hall, prompting a flood of candidates hoping to fill their seats and best two others, held by incumbents Stephen Murphy, a long-time councilor, and freshman John Connolly, who are both running for re-election.

The lengthy list includes the following: Ayanna Pressley, an aide to U.S. Sen. John Kerry; Doug Bennett, a Republican from Nantucket, who has racked up publicity (and some annoyed voters) for his aggressive door-knocking and bumper-sticker campaign; fellow Republican Robert Fortes, who works for the MBTA, ran for state rep in the Fifth Suffolk back in 1999 and helped out then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s run for governor in 2002; Andrew Kenneally, who has worked as an aide to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and At-Large City Councillors Maura Hennigan and Flaherty; Jean-Claude Sanon, a Haitian-American community activist from Mattapan; Scotland Willis, senior partner at the consulting firm Lyceum Group; Fenway hot dog server Sean Ryan; Ego Ezedi, executive director of the Roxbury YMCA, trying again for a council spot after a failed bid to unseat Charles Yancey in 2003; Tomas Gonzalez, former chief of staff of Boston Elderly Affairs Commission; Felix G. Arroyo, whose father was turned out in 2007 and who has worked as a City Hall aide; Hiep Quoc Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American from Dorchester who has worked as a community activist; Bill Trabucco, a Boston EMT and a Dorchester resident; and Tito Jackson, a Dorchester civic activist.

Distrct 7 Councillor Chuck Turner faces competition from former Flaherty aide Carlos Henriquez, making another run at toppling Turner, and perennial candidates Althea Garrison and Roy Owens, fresh off losses to state Sen. Jack Hart and state Rep. Marie St. Fleur, respectively.

District 3 Councillor Maureen Feeney and District 4 Councillor Charles Yancey do not have challengers this year. Neither does Rob Consalvo, whose district includes large sections of Mattapan.
The preliminary municipal election is scheduled for Sept. 22. The general election will be held on Nov. 3.

Turner kicks off campaign this week

City Councillor Turner began door-knocking this week, pledging to hit District 7’s 31 precincts and spending “at least ten hours a week at people’s doorsteps, kitchen tables or living room couches,” according to an e-mail he sent to supporters.

The e-mail drew a rebuke from challenger Henriquez, who ran unsuccessfully ran against Turner in 2007. “I’m glad after 10 years he’s putting in place a system to talk to residents,” Henriquez told the Reporter.

And while Henriquez is shying away from making a campaign issue out the federal corruption charges levied against his opponent, Turner isn’t.

“Truthfully, there are moments when the thought of stepping out of the pressures of representing my constituents in order to concentrate on fighting the ‘Justice Department’/media attack against me is tempting,” Turner wrote. “Fortunately I can see clearly through the ever lurking self pity that if I quit I would give former US Attorney [Michael] Sullivan and his allies in the media and elsewhere exactly what they want—to drive me out of office.”

Turner, who has pleaded not guilty to a litany of charges, including being a co-conspirator with former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson in a bribery case, has pledged to serve two more terms and step down in 2013.

Flaherty, Kenneally draw union endorsements

City Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty, making a bid for mayor, and his former aide Andrew Kenneally both received union endorsements.

The Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts union, made up of 12,000 members, voted to sign onto Flaherty’s run for mayor at their biennial convention in Hyannis.

Flaherty has also been endorsed by the local Boston firefighters union, which has been warring with Mayor Thomas Menino over including drug testing in their contracts. Menino is pushing legislation requiring state workers to pass drug tests, after several city firefighters were alleged to have used illegal drugs while on the job.

Kenneally has announced the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2222, which represents over 4,000 Bay State telecommunications workers.