REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Henriquez officially in for Fifth Suffolk seat

Carlos Henriquez, a community activist who has twice run unsuccessfully run against District 7 Councillor Chuck Turner, is jumping into the race to replace state Rep. Marie St. Fleur (D-Uphams Corner).

Henriquez said he is making his move after consulting with several local activists long affiliated with the Fifth Suffolk district. He said a move to state representative would be a change from "pot hole politics," which he would have handled had he won a city council seat, to dealing with pot holes and legislation on a state level to support local work.

The son of Sandra Henriquez, a current Obama administration official and the former head of the Boston Housing Authority, Carlos said the district is a “microcosm” of Boston in its diversity. “It’s like representing a mini-Boston,” he said.

Already in the race is Barry Lawton, a high school teacher who has run for the seat twice before. He formally launched his bid at the Phillips Old Colony House last week.

Potential candidates, who have expressed interest by pulling nomination papers, include Republican Sean Malloy and perennial candidates Althea Garrison and Roy Owens. Steve Wise, who is unenrolled, has also pulled papers.

St. Fleur is not running for re-election after a decade in the House of Representatives.

In a number of other Dorchester and Mattapan area races, other individuals have also pulled papers. Democrat Muhammad Abdur-Razzaq has taken out papers for the Twelfth Suffolk District, where state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Lower Mills) is running for re-election.

In the Sixth Suffolk district, where Willie Mae Allen (D-Mattapan) is retiring, two new individuals have pulled papers: Democrat LaTasha Cooper and unenrolled Grace Richardson have jumped into an already crowded field.

Nomination signatures are due to local elections officials by April 27.

Pot(hole) shots, jokes, jabs at St. Patrick’s Day breakfast

The annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston on Sunday featured references to U.S. Sen. Scott Brown posing nude for Cosmopolitan magazine, jabs about an alleged inability to count aimed at the state treasurer, and a quiet candidate for state auditor deemed to be “on probation.”

The stage at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center was heavily-stocked with elected and aspiring politicians. Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray stuck to the role he has taken in Gov. Deval Patrick’s re-election efforts, doling out the sharpest jabs and labeling Republican candidate Charles Baker “Pothole Charlie” in an attempt to tie him to the costly Big Dig project.

To the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel,” Murray sang: “All around the Commonwealth with roads and bridges falling/He baked a Big Dig funding scheme, his name is Pothole Charlie.”

Departing from his routine at previous breakfasts, where he sang a song, Patrick instead read a Dr. Seuss-like poem titled “If I Ran the Zoo.” “Tim’s been at the zoo,” Patrick said, in reference to Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who oversees the state pension fund. “While pension losses mount/Trouble is that zookeepers/Must know how to count!”

For his part, Cahill joked that in South Boston he was confused for Brown (and sometimes state Sen. Jack Hart, the South Boston Democrat who hosts the breakfast) and held up a digitally altered picture of Brown’s Cosmopolitan spread with Patrick’s face on Brown’s body. Brown, who made an appearance, got into the act, pasting Hart’s face onto the spread and dubbing him “Jackie Hart-throb.”

In Scituate, where Republicans had gathered for their own breakfast, state Sen. Richard Tisei, Baker’s running mate, offered up his own verse: “So here we are now, four long years have gone by,/And Patrick's property tax pledge has been exposed as a lie./ Taxes have gone up two billion and more,/ And who knows what else this man has in store?”

The South Boston breakfast was the last one for state Rep. Brian Wallace (D-South Boston) as an elected official. He is not running for re-election.

Wallace couldn’t resist quipping to Mayor Thomas Menino that Worcester County Sheriff Guy Glodis, a candidate for state auditor, had been stuck in the corner of the stage and not allowed to speak. Glodis had gotten into trouble several breakfasts ago over cracks about Menino and had been promptly banned.

“Jackie has him on probation,” Wallace said.

Atty. Gen. Coakley draws a Republican challenger

Attorney General Martha Coakley, who is running for re-election, has drawn a potential challenger. Jack E. Robinson, a frequent candidate who recently ran for the Republican primary in the U.S. Senate race, pulled nomination papers last week from Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.

Robinson lost the Republican primary to Scott Brown, who would go on to win the U.S. Senate seat held for 47 years by the late Edward Kennedy. Robinson, who has previously unsuccessfully run for a number of seats, received 17,241 votes to Brown’s 145,465.

Coakley, a Medford Democrat first elected attorney general in 2006, fielded harsh criticism from Democratic activists after her final-election loss to Brown, with critics saying she was an aloof candidate who did not reach out enough to voters.

Coakley has since embarked on a re-election campaign with gusto unseen during the Senate race, visiting recent Democratic caucuses and this week appearing at the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast with a bevy of self-deprecating jokes.

Coakley, one of the last politicians to go up to the podium, expected a harsher reception. “I thought it was going to be much worse,” she quipped, taking the stage to Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice.” Perhaps, she jokingly added, it’s because breakfast goers realized she still has subpoena power.

She also thanked those in South Boston, an area that went big for Brown, who had voted for her. “I think both of them are here,” she said, addressing the crowd of 700 or so.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Material from State House News Service was used in this report. Check out updates on Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at

CLARIFICATION: Henriquez said a move to state representative would be a change from "pot hole politics," which he would have handled had he won a city council seat, to dealing with pot holes and legislation on a state level to support local work. The article has been changed to reflect that.