Politics

Polls open as candidates make last-minute bids for votes

By 
Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Sep. 24, 2013

Decision Day: State Rep. Marty Walsh greeted a voter outside of the Cristo Rey School on Savin Hill Ave. this morning. Photo by Bill ForryDecision Day: State Rep. Marty Walsh greeted a voter outside of the Cristo Rey School on Savin Hill Ave. this morning. Photo by Bill Forry

Dorchester state Rep. Marty Walsh planned to greet voters outside McKenna’s Café, down the street from his Tuttle Street home in Savin Hill, as polls opened at 7 a.m. across the city. About 7 miles away, District 5 Councillor Rob Consalvo was scheduled to cast his vote at the Blake Estates on Hyde Park Ave. And three miles away from there, City Councillor At-Large John Connolly was set to greet voters at about 7:30 a.m. at St. George Orthodox Church in West Roxbury.

Preliminary election: Bill Walczak, with his daughter Elizabeth, highlighted his opposition to a casino in Boston on his election day signage. The two are shown outside the Cristo Rey School where the candidate voted this morning. Photo by Bill ForryPreliminary election: Bill Walczak, with his daughter Elizabeth, highlighted his opposition to a casino in Boston on his election day signage. The two are shown outside the Cristo Rey School where the candidate voted this morning. Photo by Bill Forry

Nine other candidates have similar schedules. For the first time in 30 years, the municipal ballot will not include the name Thomas Menino. Twelve names will be there instead, along with dozens of candidates looking to snag a City Council at-large slot or a district seat. Today’s preliminary will whittle the field of mayoral candidates to two, and the number of at-large candidates to eight.

Barros on Bowdoin: Candidate John Barros greeted a voter outside of the Pasciucco Apartments on Tuesday. Photo by Bill ForryBarros on Bowdoin: Candidate John Barros greeted a voter outside of the Pasciucco Apartments on Tuesday. Photo by Bill ForryPolls in the last week have shown what appears to be the solidification of a top tier, as many political observers had predicted months ago: Connolly and Walsh, two candidates who have been running for mayor longer than the other major contenders in the field; Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, who started with a significant cash advantage; and former Dorchester state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie, the lone woman in the race and a former aide to Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick.

But the campaigns of the other contenders will argue they have a fair shot at the final, too, because of the high number of undecided voters that could break their way, the polls undercounting their supporters, or their below-the-radar ground game. The rest of the field includes Consalvo, former School Committee member John Barros, District 5 Councillor Michael Ross, City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo, and Savin Hill activist Bill Walczak. District 4 Councillor Charles Yancey is running for mayor and his council seat. TOUCH 106.1 FM’s Charles Clemons and Roxbury Republican David James Wyatt are also on the ballot.

Secretary Bill Galvin, who oversees the state’s elections department, predicted that turnout will be higher than in the 2009 preliminary, when Menino faced off against two city councillors at-large and a South End activist. That year, 82,000 voters showed up at the polls. Galvin said turnout could be around 100,000 this year, and possibly as high as 125,000, depending on the intensity of interest in the race.

Richie on the Trail: The candidate is shown with supporters Dennis and Eddie Callahan in Charlestown this morning. Photo courtesy Richie campaignRichie on the Trail: The candidate is shown with supporters Dennis and Eddie Callahan in Charlestown this morning. Photo courtesy Richie campaign
The intensity of candidates’ campaigns is another matter: Galvin expressed concern that voters will have to run a “gauntlet” of campaign supporters attempting to influence voters on their way into their polling place. Galvin said the law forbidding campaigning within 150 feet of a polling location will be enforced. The race for mayor has been largely congenial, Galvin said. “I want to make sure it has a congenial ending.”

In the South End on Sunday, City Councillor At-Large Felix G. Arroyo canvassed with state Rep. Byron Rushing, running into a corner store and a hair salon and chatting up voters inside. They came upon one home with one bumper sticker after the other pasted onto her door, from Jesse Jackson’s run for president, Mel King’s run for Congress, to Rushing’s campaigns for state representative. “Let me tell you, I’m an old lady. I’ve been voting since I’ve been allowed to,” said the bumper stickers’ owner, Beverly Adams, as Arroyo placed a sticker with his name on the door.

Seeing Arroyo with Rushing helped win her over, she said. “I remember when his dad first ran,” she said, referring to Felix D. Arroyo, who also served on the City Council. “He’s charming. He’s personable. And I think he means what he says.”  Read more

(UPDATED) #BosMayor Round-Up: Sept. 23, 2013

1 day to the Sept. 24 preliminary. Driving the day: The expected resignation of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. The news broke on Sunday, as mayoral candidates were out canvassing, attending GOTV rallies and fundraising. The candidates, over the course of the campaign, were frequently pressed by reporters and community activists on whether they would keep him or hire a new police commissioner. Polls open in less than 24 hours.  Read more

(UPDATED) #BosMayor Round-Up: Sept. 22, 2013

2 days to the Sept. 24 preliminary. Allston Brighton will be one of the places to catch candidates today, with a parade scheduled for the afternoon and the 10th annual Brian Honan 5K. State Rep. Byron Rushing, who endorsed Felix Arroyo last week, joins the mayoral candidate on the trail with a canvassing in the South End. John Connolly heads to Beacon Hill for a meet-and-greet put together by Chris Gabrieli, a supporter and former candidate for governor. State Rep. Marty Walsh will be watching the second half of the Patriots game with supporters in Charlestown.  Read more

(UPDATED) #BosMayor Round-Up: Sept. 21, 2013

3 days to the Sept. 24 preliminary.  Read more

(UPDATED) #BosMayor Round-Up: Sept. 20, 2013

4 days to the Sept. 24 preliminary. The City Council’s economic development committee is holding a 12 p.m. hearing on the Suffolk Downs casino proposal and the plan for a Nov. 5 vote on the matter. Bill Walczak, whose opposition to a Boston casino is the centerpiece of his mayoral campaign, will testify. In a statement on Thursday, Walczak blasted the proposal as “magical thinking” and questioned the revenue figures behind the proposal. Walczak will again push the council to allow for a city-wide vote on the issue, a stance that has drawn public support in recent polls.  Read more

Chang-Diaz and Holmes back Golar Richie in mayor’s race

In a bid to swing undecided voters to her side, former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie rolled out the endorsement of state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat, and Rep. Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat. “I would be swayed if I knew that a Representative Holmes had made a decision, Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz had decided to support Charlotte,” Golar Richie said at a press conference outside the State House.  Read more

Poll: Boston voters want citywide casino referendum

By 
Reporter Staff
Sep. 19, 2013

New poll results show 64 percent of likely Boston voters want a citywide referendum on whether to allow a casino at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, and voters deadlocked over allowing the city casino.  Read more

Hopefuls press on as voters weigh options

Ten of the twelve mayoral candidates are shown during a forum at the Reggie Lewis Center on Sept. 6. The candidates were answer a question about whether they knew someone who has a problem finding employment. Pictured from left are: Felix Arroyo, John Barros, Charles Clemons, Dan Conley, John Connolly, Charlotte Golar Richie, Mike Ross, Bill Walczak, Marty Walsh and Charles Yancey. Not pictured: Rob Consalvo and David Wyatt. Photo by Chris Lovett

On a hill in Jamaica Plain, behind a row of homes on Peter Parley Road that share a backyard, the mayoral hopefuls weaved their way through the crowd of voters at the Ward 11 Democratic Committee’s picnic.  Read more

(UPDATED) #BosMayor Round-Up: Sept. 19, 2013

5 days to the Sept. 24 preliminary. City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo gets the early bird award, with a schedule entry that puts him at the Freeport Bus Yard at 5:30 a.m. District 5 Councillor Rob Consalvo starts the day at his home in Hyde Park and has 15 events stops planned. The amped up schedule, which Consalvo plans to repeat every day until the election, is part of the campaign’s “All in for Boston” tour. State Rep. Marty Walsh greets city workers heading into City Hall (no word on whether he’ll be joined by a bulldozer).  Read more

#BosMayor Round-Up: Sept. 18, 2013

6 days to the Sept. 24 preliminary. Results from the Suffolk University/Herald poll are expected this morning at 9. Another poll, from MassINC, is expected to come out on Thursday morning. City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo and District 5 Councillor Rob Consalvo meet on Wednesday with the Boston Teachers Union, which gave a preliminary endorsement to the two candidates earlier this week.  Read more