Reporter’s Notebook | Now on track: The run to succeed Dorcena Forry
State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry is expected to resign her House seat sometime in the next week and be sworn into the state Senate next Thursday, June 13. While the Dorchester Democrat will be preparing to join the 40-member upper chamber that afternoon, the race to succeed her in the House has already started.
The special election is set for Sept. 10, with a primary scheduled for Aug. 13. It will likely be, like the race to replace former state Sen. Jack Hart, another low-turnout affair in a heavily Democratic district.
Dan Cullinane, who has worked in the offices of Attorney General Martha Coakley, state Rep. Marty Walsh and former City Councillor Maureen Feeney, entered the race this week. Cullinane lives in Cedar Grove and serves as the vice president of the neighborhood’s civic association. He said he has raised over $15,000 in campaign contributions, and expects to reel in an additional $7,000 in short order.
“To the hard working people of Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Milton, I pledge to be a tireless and transparent advocate in the State House and a constant and responsive presence in the community,” Cullinane said in a statement. “I seek this incredible opportunity to serve because I believe in the potential of what can be achieved when dedicated people from diverse backgrounds join together under the common goal of bettering our communities.”
Mary Tuitt, an aide to state Rep. Gloria Fox, told the Reporter recently that she plans to run for the 12th Suffolk seat that Dorcena Forry has held for eight years. Tuitt lives in the middle of the district, which includes Boston’s southern border with Milton, and the Dorchester and Mattapan neighborhoods. Born in Montserrat, she has lived in the area for 28 years and has also worked for District 4 Councillor Charles Yancey.
Political observers in the district have also mentioned Stephanie Everett, a former aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, as a contender. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Roxbury Community College.
The three aforementioned candidates all have ties to the District 3 City Council race in 2011 when Frank Baker won the opening created by Maureen Feeney opting against another term. Cullinane managed the campaign of Baker’s opponent, John O’Toole, while Everett and Tuitt were both candidates from the Mattapan end of the council district. Everett received 3.6 percent of the vote and Tuitt 4.5 percent in the seven-way preliminary. And all three were involved in some form or another in Dorcena Forry’s state Senate campaign.
A fourth potential candidate, Carlotta Williams of Hyde Park, has opened up a campaign fundraising account with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Endorsement Corner: Connolly picks up backing of former District 1 councillor
A former city councillor who once represented Charlestown, East Boston, and the North End is backing City Councillor At-Large John Connolly’s mayoral bid.
Paul Scapicchio, who served on the 13-member City Council from 1997 to 2006, announced his support for Connolly on Thursday evening at a Charlestown campaign event. Scapicchio is currently president of Sage Systems’ government affairs division and previously served as senior vice president of government affairs at ML Strategies Boston.
“He is caring, sincere, and intelligent; he surrounds himself with smart and hard working people; and has a vision for building upon Boston’s strength – our people,” Scapicchio said. “I am proud to support John.”
Connolly also picked up support from Richard O’Mara, a supporter of Mayor Thomas Menino. O’Mara owns Cedar Grove Gardens in Dorchester and is an influential community activist. A “Connolly for Mayor” sign was spotted outside his business and he walked with the Connolly crew in the Dorchester Day Parade.
Separately, the political action committee of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, which last week announced its slate of endorsements for the 2013 municipal election cycle, also re-endorsed incumbent City Councillor At-Large Ayanna Pressley.
Pressley, a former aide to US Sen. John Kerry, was first elected in 2009, and topped the ticket in 2011. An Ashmont resident, she is running for her third term this year. “Over the past four years, Councilor Pressley has brought women’s issues to the forefront at City Hall,” Priti Rao, head of the MWPC, said in a statement. “From her work advocating for comprehensive sexual health education for teens and forming the Committee on Women and Healthy Communities to supporting women entrepreneurs, Councilor Pressley works hard for equality here in Boston.”
Quote of Note: Gomez and silliness in the special election for US Senate
On the day before the two candidates for US Senate were scheduled to face off on television in a debate, news broke that President Obama was coming next week to give a hand to fellow Democrat Ed Markey. Which prompted Markey’s opponent, Gabriel Gomez, to put on his political analyst cap.
“Congressman Markey’s dirty campaign is failing to offer anything but old, tired solutions,” Gomez, a venture capitalist and Cohasset Republican, said in a statement that bent toward the negative, before he displayed some dexterity in attempting to sound a positive note about the president. “I’m not surprised that he has to ask the president to try and bail him out. I respect the president, I’ll be happy to work with when I believe he’s right, and I’ll oppose him when I think he’s wrong.”
Let’s unpack this, briefly: Public polls have longtime Congressman Markey from Malden up, including a New England College survey released Tuesday that showed him ahead by 12 points. A month ago, a Suffolk University/7News poll had Markey ahead by 17 points.
“The early perception immediately after the party primaries was that Markey was vulnerable,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said at the time. “These findings suggest the opposite of a close race – that Ed Markey begins the sprint to June with a large lead over his Republican opponent who voters are unsure about.”
The special election is scheduled for June 25. Meanwhile, in Boston, a mayoral free-for-all, complete with candidates who are vastly more compelling, rolls on as the heat of summer sets in.
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