Voters go to the polls on Nov. 3 with eight choices for four City Council At-Large slots on the ballot. The crop of candidates â€“ many of them aides to politicians at City Hall and in Congress â€“ is both ethnically and ideologically diverse: Two African-Americans, two Latinos, one Republican formerly from Nantucket, and three white men.
The ballot order for the candidates follows:
â€¢ Stephen Murphy has been on the City Council for 13 years. Originally from Dorchester and now living in Hyde Park, he has touted his support for overhauling the criminal offender record information system (CORI) and has sought to have universities and colleges contribute increased payments in lieu of taxes. With 30,300 votes, he came in second in the Sept. 23 preliminary, which narrowed down the 15 initial candidates to the final eight.
â€¢ Doug Bennett, a Republican who moved to Boston from Nantucket, has been campaigning for a slot on the City Council for nearly a year and a half. He claims to have knocked on 100,000 doors, though that didnâ€™t help him in the preliminary; he came in seventh, with 10,500 votes. A case specialist in Suffolk Countyâ€™s criminal trial court, he has promised to â€œshake the changeâ€ out of City Hall.
â€¢ Felix G. Arroyo is a labor activist and the son of the former city councillor of the same name who was the first Latino to serve on the 13-member body. The younger Arroyo has racked up the most union endorsements in the campaign by far, with 35 at last count. A former City Hall aide, he finished a strong third in the preliminary with 25,821 votes.
â€¢ Tito Jackson has taken a leave of absence from his job in the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development to run for City Council. A Grove Hall resident, he has frequently said on the campaign trail that because of his previous gig, heâ€™s the only candidate with experience bringing jobs into the Bay State. He came in sixth in the preliminary, receiving 12,520 votes.
â€¢ Tomas Gonzalez, who worked with the Boston Elderly Commission, came in last in the preliminary with 10,100 votes. He was also Mayor Thomas Meninoâ€™s Latino liaison. He moved to Dorchester while a teenager.
â€¢ Incumbent John Connolly was the top vote-getter in the preliminary, prompting speculation that heâ€™s a future mayoral contender. Connolly, whose wife gave birth to a baby girl the night before, received 35,100 votes that day. A former teacher, he serves on the City Councilâ€™s Education Committee. He is one of the councilâ€™s most progressive members, but continues to do well in conservative areas of Boston.
â€¢ Andrew Kenneally, a former aide to City Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty, also worked in the halls of Congress for the late Joseph Moakley. While a council aide, Kenneally helped develop a billboard campaign aimed at reducing gun violence by highlighting Kai Leigh Harriot, who was paralyzed by a stray bullet. Kenneally, who was spurred into the race after recovering from a brain tumor, received 12,630 votes and came in fifth.
â€¢ Ayanna Pressley keeps the same spot on the ballot as she had in the preliminary, allowing her to retain her slogan â€œEight is Great.â€ A former aide to U.S. Sen. John Kerry, she would be the first African-American woman to serve on the council if sheâ€™s elected. She came in fourth in the preliminary and received 16,840 votes. Her candidacy has been one of the most closely followed, and has drawn support from City Council President Michael Ross and District 3 Councilor Maureen Feeney. Originally from Chicago, Pressley lives in the Ashmont area of Dorchester.