Sep. 24, 2013
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.
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.
Polls 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.
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
Today is Election Day. The 12-person field will be winnowed to two finalists who will face off on Nov. 5. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Candidates’ schedules, and a flashback to what newspapers were saying the morning of a preliminary 20 years ago, are available below. Read more
Seven of the twelve candidates running for mayor stepped off the campaign trail on Friday and spent several hours inside City Hall at a hearing on the Suffolk Downs casino proposal. Read more
Sep. 13, 2013
In response to a News Service questionnaire, nine of the 12 candidates hoping to become the next mayor of Boston explained their stances on regulating and supervising medical marijuana facilities in the city.
QUESTION: How would your administration deal with medical marijuana dispensaries in Boston?
JOHN CONNOLLY: Voters have decided that such dispensaries are legal and it is now up to the city to come up with thoughtful zoning requirements to ensure that dispensaries are not concentrated in our most underserved neighborhoods or near schools. Read more
Eyesore remains a hold-out on Dudley Street
There are many high-profile eyesores and abandoned lots across Boston that merit the attention, imagination and hustle of the next mayor. But few loom as large as the Leon Electric building in Uphams Corner.
The hulking warehouse complex sits right next to the MBTA commuter rail station at the corner of Dudley and Humphreys streets. The empty, fenced-off, weather-worn behemoth rises up seven stories and casts a foreboding shadow over the neighborhood business district below. Read more
Clad in a plain red t-shirt, khaki shorts, and a cap with a “Dan Conley” sticker on its front, Bobby Madden was working “Marty Walsh” country.
On a recent Saturday morning, the 69-year-old Dorchester fixture, who is an investigator in Suffolk District Attorney Conley’s office, made his way up St. Brendan’s Hill with a young assistant district attorney at his side and a list of super-voters in his hand. They were part of a small group of canvassers looking to identify Dorchester supporters of Conley, who is one of the 12 candidates running for mayor.
Madden, who grew up in the area and lives on Gallivan Boulevard, didn’t need the list. The neighborhood is largely made up of families whose breadwinners are police officers, firefighters, and teachers. He knows most of them, and most of them know him. Read more
Aug. 30, 2013
In response to a News Service questionnaire, ten of the 12 candidates for mayor of Boston offered their positions on how state law could be altered to allow for more liquor licenses for the city. Currently, the Legislature selectively grants additional licenses for communities, but Boston has for years operated at the maximum number of licenses, creating high demand and steep prices for existing licenses. Mayor Thomas Menino supports a home rule petition from City Councilor Ayanna Pressley that would allow the city to do away with the cap and regulate its own licensing. Read more
What will the next mayor of Boston do with the Strand Theatre, the Uphams Corner landmark that debuted as a movie palace in the waning days of World War I? Like a Charlie Chaplin character flickering across its earliest screen, the Uphams Corner landmark stumbled and lurched across the 20th century and, on more than one occasion, damn-near plunged hat-first into an abyss of debt and decrepitness. And, like the ‘Little Tramp’ himself, the Strand has proven to be an enduring and endearing figure – with the promise of new audiences and a heroic revival that has been years in the making. Read more
Aug. 28, 2013
On a humid Tuesday afternoon, Bill Walczak was waiting outside City Hall. His mayoral campaign, like the others struggling for attention in a 12-person field, had just been handed a small gift from a few floors above: an agreement between the city and Suffolk Downs to bring money, jobs, and a $1 billion casino to East Boston. In other words, something specific to run against, aside from his opponents. Read more
In July, the Dorchester Reporter prepared its own questionnaire for mayoral candidates and asked each of the 12 candidates on the Sept. ballot to participate. To date, nine of the 12 candidates have submitted the survey, which included biographical questions, details about their political ideology and specific policy questions that have both citywide and neighborhood-specific implications. The Reporter also included a "case study" section that asks candidates how they would deal with a longstanding redevelopment question in Uphams Corner: the Leon Electric Building. Read more