Dorchester state Rep. Marty Walsh, while stopping short of a full-on endorsement, lent his oratorical skills to at-Large City Council candidate Felix G. Arroyo at a $100-a-ticket political fundraiser on Saturday.
The event at Mojitos nightclub in Downtown Crossing pulled in a number of political heavy-hitters in support of Arroyo the younger, revealing some of the connections he and his father - former Councillor at-Large Felix D. Arroyo - have cultivated over the years.
Former Sen. Jarrett Barrios emceed the event, also serving as the co-chair of Arroyo's campaign; Rep. Liz Malia talked up Arroyo's dedication to his community, and the influential Rev. Gregory Groover from Charles Street A.M.E. Church - the Boston Police Chaplain, School Committee Chair, and vice-president of the Boston Ministerial Alliance - said the opening prayer.
"We thank you in advance for who we know will win the election in 2009," prayed Groover, to a resounding amen.
Also milling about among the young and old professionals, political strategists and other supporters was Councillor Sam Yoon, Grace Ross - Green-Rainbow party member and former gubernatorial candidate and of course Arroyo's father, wife and extended family.
Walsh, who is said to have heavy influence among labor unions, was also a past supporter of the father, Felix D. Arroyo. Felix G. Arroyo (the younger) has also spent time working as an union organizer for SEIU 615.
"His father's a friend of mine," said Walsh. "Win or lose he'll raise issues for debate in the communities, particularly with the economy now and in the neighborhoods that don't currently have a high profile."
Arroyo's campaign is currently leading the challengers in the fundraising arena, with $29,987 as of Tuesday - a total that is creeping up on the amounts some incumbent councillors are holding. Andrew Kenneally, former aide to Councillor Michael Flaherty is also looking a little more serious this week, putting out a press release touting his own fundraising efforts, which have netted over $11,000. Meanwhile candidate Bob Terrell, a Roxbury-based transportation advocate, just opened his campaign account. His kick-off event is scheduled for Jan. 22, 6 p.m. at the Piano Factory building in the South End, 791 Tremont St.