They put their signs on cars, bikes and their volunteers: Local and state politicians were out in force for the Dorchester Day Parade on Sunday.
Another election year – this one on the state level – meant the candidates for governor and down-ballot races donned sneakers to walk the 3.2 mile route along Dorchester Ave.
Gov. Deval Patrick— as an incumbent —received the pole position, marching with a dozen volunteers, while Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray pushed his two girls, Helen and Katerine, along in a stroller. With them were state Senator Jack Hart (D-South Boston), Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) and City Councillors At-Large Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo. City Councillor At-Large John Connolly, who also had his children in tow, marched as well.
Democrats were fresh off a momentum-building convention in Worcester, where delegates on Saturday placed on the ballot candidates for state treasurer and auditor. Less than 24 hours later, they hit the parade route, including auditor candidates Suzanne Bump and Guy Glodis, and treasurer candidates Steve Grossman and City Councillor At-Large Stephen Murphy.
Glodis marched in the same parade division as Treasurer Timothy Cahill, a Democrat-turned-independent running for governor.
Republicans dominated the third division, with gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker and running mate state Sen. Richard Tisei leading the pack. State Rep. Karyn Polito, a Shrewsbury Republican running for treasurer, marched a few organizations behind them.
Jill Stein, a Green-Rainbow candidate for governor whose campaign headquarters is located on Dorchester Ave. in Fields Corner, also marched.
Other pols in the annual parade included several of the candidates running to replace state Rep. Brian Wallace (D-South Boston): former Hart aide Nick Collins and activist Mark McGonagle.
For most potential voters, the September primaries and November elections appeared to be farther from their minds than those of the candidates, judging by the low number of lawn signs along Dorchester Ave. In terms of popularity, many candidates and organizations marching in the parade carried signs declaring “Save Our Libraries,” in a bid to stop the Menino administration’s plan to close four branch libraries, including the one in Dorchester’s Lower Mills neighborhood.
Mayor Thomas Menino was still a dominant presence of the route, with two massive signs from his re-election campaign last year hanging on a building in Fields Corner. Unable to march because he is still recovering from surgery, Menino cut the ribbon at the start of the parade.
A heavy burst of rain hit the parade at the very end, leading some groups to seek refuge under one of the gas stations at the corner of Columbia Ave. and Dorchester Ave., including Mary Connaughton, a Republican candidate for auditor and an accountant.
The rain didn’t dampen Connaughton’s enthusiasm for the parade. “By many accounts I shook more hands than I didn’t at today’s Dot Day parade,” Connaughton wrote on the social networking site Twitter hours after the parade. “You gotta love the folks of Dot Ave.”