Reporter's Notebook: For Baker and O’Toole, time to renew the wooing
The morning after usually entails a hard look at the lengthy tab and the lingering question, “what’s next?” But for at least two District 3 candidates, there was a sense of jubilation on Sept. 28. Savin Hill’s Frank Baker and Cedar Grove’s John O’Toole were the top finishers in the seven-way preliminary race. The morning that followed their wins was filled with meetings and phone calls as they reached out to their former competitors and wooed new supporters.
Craig Galvin, who came in third, says he’s staying neutral in the final election. But Baker dropped by Galvin’s election night party at Dbar, the Dot Ave. restaurant, and political observers acknowledge that several key Galvin supporters have crossed over to Baker’s camp.
Stephanie Everett, a former aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz who came in sixth place, said she has not decided whom she’s endorsing. She hopes to stay in the policy-making world, she said, but for now will focus on re-electing City Councillor At-Large Ayanna Pressley, who is up for reelection.
Everett did not rule out another run for office noting that a girlfriend of hers called after the election results came in and reminded her she hadn’t gotten into law school the first time she applied, either. “I’m not at all sorry about it,” Everett said. Because the other candidates had deep ties and relationships in Dorchester, “they came out of the gate running,” she said.
Marydith Tuitt, the fifth place finisher and an aide to state Rep. Gloria Fox, also said she hadn’t decided whom she’s backing in the general election. She said she was concerned that either candidate would focus too much on their surrounding neighborhood instead of all of Dorchester.
As for those aforementioned tabs: Baker, who topped the preliminary election ticket, ended the month with an account balance of $9,353, according to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance. He spent $20,063 in September after hauling in $26,044. He received $300 from the political action committee of the MBTA’s local inspector union in South Boston, and spent thousands of dollars on advertising.
At the end of September, O’Toole’s account had a balance of $17,150. During the month, he took in $20,580 and spent $25,877. He received $200 from City Councillor Rob Consalvo’s campaign committee, and an additional $100 from Consalvo himself. He also received donations from the political action committee of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters in Dorchester, and from attorneys with McDermott Quilty and Miller, a law firm that helps with liquor licenses.
O’Toole and Galvin each dropped money on Portable Insights, a Rhode Island-based firm that handles marketing and opinion research. O’Toole spent $2,000 with the firm; Galvin paid them $826.
According to OCPF figures for September, Galvin spent almost as much as O’Toole and Baker combined during the campaign. Galvin’s total spending came to $45,354, with $6,504 slotted for mailings handled by Gum inner & Davies Communications in Washington, D.C.
Galvin also picked up a $100 check from state Rep. Garrett Bradley’s (D-Hingham) campaign committee and $200 from Robert Travaglini, the former Senate president and East Boston resident who is now a lobbyist and lives in Winthrop.
Baker has picked up support from another state representative and the local firefighters’ union while O’Toole’s camp is touting the backing of a statewide union for machinists.
State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, who is married to Reporter managing editor Bill Forry, said this week that she will support Baker in the Nov. 8 election. Baker also has the support of state Reps. Marty Walsh (D-Dorchester) and Nick Collins (D-South Boston).
“Frank will be a strong, independent voice for our neighborhood and I am looking forward to working closely with him as a partner in government,” Rep. Forry said in a statement.
Baker, the former shop steward for City Hall’s now-defunct printing department, also picked up the support of Boston Firefighters Local 718, a union that has frequently clashed with Mayor Thomas Menino.
As for O’Toole, in a letter dated Sept. 30, machinists’ union president James Connor and treasurer James Howard praised him for his “commitment to the issues” affecting organized labor. “In addition, your past actions have proven that you are a true friend of Labor,” they wrote. “We feel secure in the knowledge that in the future your priorities will continue to be those of a strong advocate of Labor.”
O’Toole has also picked up support from unions representing city workers, electrical workers, pipe-fitters, bricklayers, and carpenters.
The Greater Boston Labor Council, which is part of the state AFL-CIO, met this week but declined to issue an endorsement, passing on the race for the second time. The council didn’t endorse in August in the preliminary election.
District 7 recount tomorrow
Boston’s Election Department plans to hold a recount Friday of ballots cast in the District 7 race in Roxbury, Dorchester, the South End, and Fenway. Althea Garrison, a former state representative and a perennial candidate who came in third place, requested the re-tally after collecting signatures from Wards 8, 12 and 13 to qualify. In the preliminary election held on Sept. 27, the field of four candidates was narrowed to two candidates: incumbent City Councillor Tito Jackson and Fenway’s Sheneal Parker.
Jackson, who won a special election in March after former City Councillor Chuck Turner was ousted in the wake of a bribery conviction, received 76 percent of the vote, or 1,875 votes. Parker was the pick on 274 ballots, Garrison received 216 votes, and Roy Owens, another perennial candidate, earned 85.
The recount pushes back the ballot-order drawing originally scheduled for Tuesday that will determine the ballot order for all the district races and the City Council At-Large contest. It likely will occur tomorrow afternoon in the City Council chamber.
The final election, with a seven people on the ballot for the City Council At-Large race, is set for Nov. 8.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Material from State House News Service was used in this report. Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop. Follow us on Twitter: @LitDrop and @gintautasd.