(UPDATED) Reporter's Notebook: Mayoral scramble opens with flurry of forums

The candidates hoping to succeed Mayor Thomas Menino will face off in forums in the morning and at night next month. Two forums are scheduled for Wed., June 5, with one at 8:30 a.m., put together by the Boston Society of Architects, and another at 6:30 p.m. and organized by several education groups.

The architecture-focused group will focus on development, transportation and housing. Renee Loth, editor of ArchitectureBoston and a Boston Globe columnist, will moderate the 90-minute forum at 290 Congress St. According to the society, confirmed attendees include City Councillors At-Large Felix Arroyo and John Connolly, District 5 Councillor Rob Consalvo, former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie, District 8 Councillor Mike Ross and Codman Square Health Center co-founder Bill Walczak.

Nine hours later, another forum is scheduled to start at the Brooke Charter School in Roslindale. A group of education reform organizations, including Stand for Children, Education Reform Now, Mass2020, Teach for America and Young Educational Professionals, among others, are putting together the forum.

The candidates expected to attend, according to Stand For Children, include Arroyo, Connolly,Consalvo, Golar Richie, Ross, Walczak, former School Committee member John Barros, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley, state Rep. Marty Walsh and District 4 Councillor Charles Yancey. Arroyo has a scheduling conflict, according to the group.

Both forums are open to the public.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the education groups’ forum, also expected to last 90 minutes, will start at 7 p.m. The Brooke Charter School is located at 190 Cummins Highway.

Elections officials continued to count nomination signatures this week in order to determine who qualified for the ballot. Candidates needed 3,000 signatures from registered Boston voters in order to make it onto the September and November ballots.

At least one person won’t be making it because he didn’t have enough signatures: Hyde Park activist Will Dorcena, who decided to run for mayor in 2012 after finishing sixth out of a seven-person race for four at-large seats.

“This past year has been extremely challenging for my family, as my son’s ongoing health issues have dominated our lives,” he said in a statement posted online. “As a father, it has been difficult for me to give my campaign the focus and attention it deserves. My first priority has always been and will continue to be my family.”

Endorsement Corner: Women’s political caucus backs mayoral and at-large candidates

The political action committee for the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, which seeks to add to the numbers of women in public office, announced a slew of endorsements in the last week, including their support for former state Rep. Golar Richie’s bid for mayor.

The group, which was formed in 1972, also endorsed newcomers Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George, who are running for City Council At-Large.

In a statement, the group’s executive director, Priti Rao noted that George is a lifelong Dorchester resident and mother of four, as well as an East Boston High School teacher and a yarn shop owner. “Annissa has what it takes to fight for economic development and better schools in the City Council,” Rao said. “We are thrilled to work with Annissa on her road to the City Council.”

In a separate statement, Rao praised Wu, a South End resident and attorney who worked on Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate campaign, as bringing a “unique voice to the table” as a legal advocate to low-income entrepreneurs.

Wu also picked up the backing of two state senators and nine state representatives: state Sens. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain and Anthony Petruccelli of East Boston and state Reps. Carlo Basile of East Boston, Gloria Fox of Roxbury, Russell Holmes of Mattapan, Kevin Honan of Brighton, Liz Malia of Jamaica Plain, Aaron Michlewitz of the North End, Michael Moran of Brighton, Byron Rushing of Roxbury, and Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain. All are Democrats.

The Wu campaign said last week they had raised over $110,000 and turned in 2,913 signatures. At-large candidates need 1,500 signatures to make it onto the ballot.

There are 20 potential candidates for the four at-large slots, with two vacancies created by the mayoral candidacies of Connolly and Arroyo. Incumbents Ayanna Pressley and Stephen Murphy are running for reelection.

The primary election is set for Sept. 24, with the final election scheduled for Nov. 5.

UPDATE: This article was updated at 6:10 p.m. May 30 with the latest list of candidates attending the education-focused forum.

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