Reporter’s Notebook: State Senate race likely to spawn run for House

First there was the US Senate special election, spawned by John Kerry’s departure for the top post at the State Department. Then there was Jack Hart heading to a Boston law firm, opening up his First Suffolk District seat to a special election. The two situations will collide on April 30, when voters will pick the Democratic and Republican nominees who will be facing off in the general elections that will follow.

But Boston, which is seeing a temporary suspension of campaign activity in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, should brace itself for additional elections: If either of the two state representatives campaigning for Hart’s seat – Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester and Nick Collins of South Boston – wins, that would mean another special election. In Dorchester and South Boston, that election campaign could attract some familiar faces.

Rep. Forry, a Lower Mills resident who was elected in a 2005 special election and is married to Reporter editor Bill Forry, holds the 12th Suffolk House seat, which includes the Ashmont area, Lower Mills, a large portion of Mattapan, and two precincts in Milton.

Two possible candidates for her seat include Stephanie Everett, a former aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain), and Mary Tuitt, who works for state Rep. Gloria Fox (D-Roxbury). The two Mattapan residents were among the seven candidates running for the District 3 City Council seat in 2011. Neither made it to the final election, and Savin Hill’s Frank Baker ended up winning the race between him and Cedar Grove’s John O’Toole.

Other candidates would likely emerge in a scrum for the 12th Suffolk seat, which was once held by former Massachusetts House Speaker Thomas Finneran.

Collins was elected in 2010 to the Fourth Suffolk House seat, which opened up after former state Rep. Brian Wallace decided against running for another term. Collins finished in the top two in the five-way Democratic primary, beating Mark McGonagle and coasting past a Republican challenger.

McGonagle could make another try for the seat. He is currently the chief of staff to District 2 Councillor Bill Linehan and soon to be a father again: he and his wife are expecting a baby in July.

After winning, Collins hired Jacob Bombard, one of the other Fourth Suffolk candidates, as aide. Bombard could be a potential candidate if Collins’s seat opens up.

Maureen Dahill, a South Boston Democrat vying for the Democratic nomination in the First Suffolk Senate race, is another potential candidate for Collins’s seat if she doesn’t win on April 30.

Political observers in South Boston also floated Ed Flynn’s name as a potential candidate. A former City Council candidate, Flynn is a son of former Mayor Ray Flynn.

The winner of the Democratic primary in the First Suffolk race will face off against Republican Joseph Ureneck on May 28, although the primary is expected to be determinative of the eventual winner, due to the high number of Democrats in the district.

Another At-Large candidate from Dot expected to join race

City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo’s entry into the mayor’s race is causing a number of people to jump into the race for his open seat.

Annissa Essaibi George, the owner of a Dorchester Avenue yarn shop called the Stitch House, said last week that she will be a candidate for one of the four at-large seats on the 13-member City Council. In an e-mail to supporters on Friday, George, who described herself as a “mom, teacher, and business owner,” wrote, “You are my friends so I can laugh out loud as I write this. I have always known this is something I can do and do well, it is just amazing that we are here. I have always loved this City and in every aspect of my life, I have done what I can to make improvements and celebrate it.”

A biography on the Stitch House’s website notes: “Although sewing is her passion she enjoys the portability of knitting and crocheting and always has several projects going at once. Annissa is a teacher at East Boston High School and mom to 4 great boys, Douglas, Charlie, Kayden and Samir. Annissa and her husband Doug are both life-long residents of Dorchester.”

A Dorchester community activist, Gene Gorman, told the Reporter earlier this month that he will be running at-large as well.

Francisco White, a former coordinator for MassVOTE, the voting rights group, is also a declared candidate. He lives in East Boston and recently said he picked up an endorsement from the Greater Boston chapter of the Green-Rainbow Party.

Michelle Wu, a former campaign aide to US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, announced in December that she was running for one of the four seats.
A Jamaica Plain real estate agent is also jumping into the race, according to UniversalHub.com. Shaun Ivers,who has lived in Boston for the last six years, listed job security and reducing homelessness as top priorities.

“Although I have worked with politicians in the course of pursuing school and housing causes, I am not of the politician’s class,” he told the website.

Several of the current seat-holders, including Arroyo and City Councillor At-Large John Connolly, are making mayoral bids. The two other councillors at-large, Ayanna Pressley and Stephen Murphy, reportedly are weighing bids.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop. Email us at newseditor@dotnews.com and follow us on Twitter: @LitDrop and @gintautasd.