In a bid to swing undecided voters to her side, former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie rolled out the endorsement of state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Jamaica Plain Democrat, and Rep. Russell Holmes, a Mattapan Democrat. “I would be swayed if I knew that a Representative Holmes had made a decision, Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz had decided to support Charlotte,” Golar Richie said at a press conference outside the State House.
Chang-Diaz said it would have been “politically tidier” for her to have stayed out of the race. She said voters are looking for a “tie-breaker.” “But there are so many people who are undecided right now, in this election, and I’ve started to hear people say, ‘Well, I’ll see who makes it through to the general and then I’ll make my decision,’ right, because people are still feeling really up in the air about this,” Chang-Diaz said. “But part of my message to folks is, ‘Don’t sleep on the preliminary. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re going to show up in November and exert your influence over who’s going to be the next mayor of this city,’ because 75 percent of that decision will have already been made for you on September 24.”
The press conference came hours after state Rep. Byron Rushing, the dean of the delegation, came out in support of City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo at Arroyo’s mayoral campaign headquarters in the South End. Boston magazine’s David Bernstein first reported the Holmes and Chang-Diaz endorsements.
Rep. Holmes downplayed any fracture within Beacon Hill’s caucus of lawmakers of color, calling it a “consequence of some very good candidates.” “We each all thought that we could try to come together and have those conversations, but we have decided to go in different directions,” Holmes said.
“I think Felix is going to do a great job rallying out the troops and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons why Representative Rushing decided to go with Felix today,” he said. “But I wouldn’t necessarily call it fracturing.”
Chang-Diaz also obliquely referenced attempts by Golar Richie supporters to push other candidates of color of the race. The campaign has maintained those attempts were unauthorized. “There’s been a lot of talk about this issue of, right, is someone going to drop out, and where’s the community of color is going to land, as if the community of color is monolith,” Chang-Diaz said. “I think that the fact that different members of the Black and Latino Caucus or elected officials of color have gone in different direction shows we’re not a monolith as a community.”
Overall, the Boston delegation, made up entirely of Democrats, appears divided, with most on the record in their support of a candidate. According to a breakdown of support by the State House News Service, Golar Richie also has the support of Reps. Gloria Fox (Roxbury), Aaron Michlewitz (North End), Michael Moran (Brighton); Carlos Henriquez (Dorchester) is backing community activist John Barros; Reps. Carlo Basile (East Boston), Nick Collins (South Boston), Jay Livingstone (Beacon Hill and Back Bay), Ed Coppinger (West Roxbury) are supporting City Councillor At-Large John Connolly; state Sen. Anthony Petruccelli (East Boston), Reps. Angelo Scaccia (Hyde Park) and Kevin Honan (Brighton) are behind District 5 Councillor Rob Consalvo; and state Reps. Eugene Flaherty (Chelsea) and Liz Malia (Jamaica Plain) are behind Rep. Martin Walsh. State Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester and state Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain haven’t publicly made a choice in the 12-person race.
Chang-Diaz added that the 12 contenders represent a deepening talent field in Boston politics. “[I]f we could just step back for a moment, from the immediate gamesmanship questions of who’s with whom, this is a really great moment for the city of Boston,” she said. “I think we should all sort of give ourselves a nice pat on the back that the city of Boston has produced this field. Whether you’re looking at just candidates of color or the whole twelve, it’s a really, really deep field and there’s a lot of great talent development that’s going on right now for the next race after this and the next race after that.”