Reporter's Notebook: Galvin, for one, is ready to run – if Councillor Feeney isn’t

He’s been spotted at local events, shaking hands and saying hello, sparking rumors that he intends to run against an incumbent.

Craig Galvin, a local real estate agent, has been working rooms, including Mayor Thomas Menino’s breakfast at the IBEW Hall on Sunday, the Dorchester Board of Trade last week, and the St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in South Boston.

Asked about running for the District 3 seat, Galvin praised City Councillor Maureen Feeney, who has held the Dorchester district seat since 1993, saying she has done an “exemplary” job.

“She works hard for the people of Dorchester, she shows up. She reaches out to people, she lets people be heard. That being said, if the seat opens up, I would be a candidate for that seat,” Galvin said.

Feeney, first elected to the seat in 1993, has not made a formal announcement on whether she’s running for reelection, but has said she is leaning toward running for one more term. She also stepped up her fundraising, depositing over $10,000 into her campaign account.

But the lack of a formal decision so far into the cycle could also draw in a serious candidate, even if she decides to take the City Council plunge one last time.

The race has already drawn two candidates who were unsuccessful City Council At-Large contenders. Doug Bennett, who recently moved to Dorchester, came in eighth place in 2009, and Marty Hogan, an information technology consultant from Ashmont Street, ran in 2005.

Dorchester’s chattering class continues to yak unabated about a lengthy and unofficial list of candidates that could emerge if Feeney decides not to run— and only if Feeney decides not to run. In no particular order, they include: Galvin, Phil Carver of the Pope’s Hill Civic Association, Eileen Fenton of the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association, John O’Toole, a former president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association, and Executive Office of Public Safety aide Michael Christopher, among others.

“I hope she stays,” Fenton said when reached this week, adding that Feeney should run because Dorchester will be “all the better for it.”

If Feeney decides not to run again, Fenton said she’ll “consider all the options.”

Top Patrick aide receives outpouring of support after surviving heart attack
A top adviser to Gov. Deval Patrick was released from the hospital Monday after suffering a massive heart attack.

Ron Bell, who serves as Patrick’s senior adviser on community affairs, was leaving a Dedham meeting on Wednesday afternoon when he felt a shortness of breath and asked a friend to take him back to the State House.

His friend, Peter Lin-Marcus, instead took him to the emergency ward at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where doctors ran tests and had an ambulance take him to Massachusetts General Hospital’s intensive care unit, Bell said.

“I’m so glad to be alive,” Bell, 48, told the Reporter on Monday.
After he came out of surgery, he received an outpouring of support, with visits from the governor, the governor’s chief of staff William “Mo” Cowan, his cousin City Councillor Tito Jackson, as well as other family and friends.

“I believe God gave me a second chance. Maybe this is a lesson for all of us,” Bell said. “Don’t wait for a tragedy to be nice.”

Bell pointed to a letter he received from a MGH secretary thanking him for his kindness to her and for his friends and family being understanding of the hospital’s visitors policy.

Bell also praised the doctors and nurses at MGH. “They gave me the best of care,” he said.

Bell said he will be getting some rest, but added, “I will definitely slow down and take care of myself when I see people treat each other with dignity and not forget the little people who are marginalized and ignored, and treated as invisible.”

In a statement, Jackson’s office said, “The Councillor is very glad that his cousin is on the road to recovery.”

Bell, who served as deputy campaign manager of Patrick’s 2006 gubernatorial run, is one of the state’s most celebrated community and political organizers. Dunk the Vote, the voter registration organization he founded in 1992, was credited with bringing tens of thousands of new voters onto the rolls in Boston— mainly in communities of color.

U.S. Attorney Ortiz to drop in on District B-3
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz is scheduled to drop by the Boys and Girls Club on Talbot Ave. next week to talk with District B-3 community members about her job and her office’s efforts to reduce violent crime. Police Commissioner Ed Davis is also listed as attending the 6 p.m. meeting on April 12. Ortiz is the first Hispanic and the first woman to be tapped for the job of U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts.

Quote of Note: U.S. Sen. Brown at Dorchester’s JFK Library
“There is a happy ending,” U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Wrentham) said during an interview about his book last weekend at the JFK Library, after much of the initial focus was on his dysfunctional family when he was growing up. Brown is hoping for a sequel next year, when he is up for reelection. His favorables may be high – a 73 percent approval rate according to an internal Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that picked up last week – but supporters point to his Democratic opponent in the 2010 special election drawing 47 percent of the vote in the deeply blue Bay State. A Democratic opponent next year will start out with around that much of the vote, they say.

But the field of potential Democratic candidates shrank this week, with Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll statement saying in a statement, “Plain and simple, I do think the seat is winnable, but there is a time and place for everything and I have simply come to the conclusion that for me, at this time, I enjoy my job as Mayor of Salem and I believe my work here will require my full attention.”

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