Golar Richie adviser defends campaign's third place finish

A top adviser to former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie’s mayoral campaign rejected criticism of her candidate and said there had been “quite a bit of unfairness” directed toward her.

Joyce Ferriabough Bolling, a local political consultant, pushed back on the criticism that Golar Richie didn’t have a “message” during the campaign in an interview on “Talk of the Neighborhoods,” a local chat show hosted by Joe Heisler. “Please,” she said. “She started from nothing, she’s within striking distance of the second person who’s on the ballot now, beats the guy with the biggest bank, [Suffolk District Attorney Dan] Conley. And yet she has no message? That in and of itself doesn’t make sense. Maybe her message wasn’t as fine-tuned as you would like it to be.”

Ferriabough Bolling also criticized the Boston Globe, and its columnist Larry Harmon, who described the Golar Richie campaign as “dysfunctional.” “Four days before the election, a columnist comes out with something like that, it’s just, it’s beyond belief somebody would do something like that,” she said. Ferriabough Bolling added: “And I have to also say that, the fact that you know folks were saying, ‘well, you know, putting it around one person, it lacks democracy,’ come on, give me a break.”

Ferriabough Bolling said the idea of "coalescing" around a single candidate of color was a “numerical, smart move.”

Heisler pointed a meeting in early September where several community activists attempted to galvanize support behind Golar Richie. The meeting infuriated supporters of John Barros, a fellow candidate who was the first person of Cape Verdean descent to serve on the School Committee.

“Let me just say, first of all, the candidate knew nothing about it, ok?” Ferriabough Bolling said of Golar Richie. “Sometimes, these guys think that they know strategy better than you. But I just think that had anybody known about it, we would have said look, this is the kind–-“

“”Leave it be,’” Heisler offered.

“Thank you,” Ferriabough Bolling said. “But it did open a fissure.”

With 12 candidates in the race, there were too many to choose from and not enough distinction between them, Ferriabough Bolling said. “With Charlotte, it was always not enough money, [no] message, but she kept zooming in the polls.”

She added: “So it was clear that she was rising. And so there were some things at play, some her, the campaign, maybe, I would agree to that, but I think that certain institutions feel that they need to shape who our leaders are. I think that people in this community see right through it. But I think that it’s wrong.”

Heisler brought up the Globe endorsement, which went to City Councillor At-Large John Connolly and Barros.

“In our community, I mean, we read the Herald,” Ferriabough Bolling said. “Sorry, Globe. But we do read the Herald. But I’m sure that having lost the Globe endorsement, she lost a few liberal voters who probably went to John Barros. But you know, I mean, a lot of people look at it as they chose the weakest person of color to insure that, you know, their real pick got it.”

Asked about her comment, Barros told the Reporter on Wednesday, “For the people who look at it that way, it’s a very convenient way to feel better that their candidate didn’t get the endorsement.”

On his show, Heisler asked Ferriabough Bolling about what could be in Golar Richie’s future. She said she could see Golar Richie heading the Boston Redevelopment Authority in a new administration, or again overseeing the housing department, as she did under Mayor Thomas Menino. “She’s on everybody’s radar screen,” Ferriabough Bolling said.



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