Reporter's Notebook: Cullinane opens account for 12th Suffolk House run

Dan Cullinane, who has worked at the State House and in City Hall, is considering a run for the 12th Suffolk House seat if state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry wins the May 28 special election to fill former state Sen. Jack Hart’s seat. Dorcena Forry, who has been in the House since a 2005 special election, is facing off against Dorchester Republican Joseph Ureneck to represent a Senate district that includes Dorchester, South Boston, parts of Mattapan. and a portion of Hyde Park.

The 12th Suffolk House district includes Peabody Square, Cedar Grove, Lower Mills, and Mattapan. House Speaker Thomas Finneran, a Mattapan Democrat, held the seat before Forry.

Cullinane, vice president of the Cedar Grove Civic Association, opened a campaign committee on Friday with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

“It has been an honor working for Linda Dorcena Forry and I am committed to seeing her become the next state senator representing the First Suffolk district,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “In the coming days I will continue to meet with my family as well as residents from Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Milton as I consider running for state representative should the 12th Suffolk seat be vacated. Linda has done a great job serving the district and I would have big shoes to fill. It would be a great responsibility and one I hope to earn.”

Other potential candidates include Stephanie Everett, a former aide to state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain), and Mary Tuitt, an aide to state Rep. Gloria Fox (D-Roxbury). Everett and Tuitt both ran in the District 3 race when Councillor Maureen Feeney opted against running for another term. But the general election came down to Frank Baker, who eventually won, and John O’Toole, whose campaign was managed by Cullinane.

Cullinane worked in Feeney’s office in 2009 and was deputy field director for state Attorney General Martha Coakley’s unsuccessful US Senate run in 2010. He also served as field director with Dorcena Forry’s state Senate campaign. And at the State House, he held the title of “constituent services director” for state Rep. Marty Walsh.

Election dates are expected to be set if Dorcena Forry, who is married to Reporter editor Bill Forry, ascends to the upper chamber.

Capuano still thinking about running for governor next year

Congressman Michael Capuano, a Somerville Democrat, said on Monday that he is closer to a decision on whether or not he’ll run for governor in 2014. He left the matter at that, despite reporters attempting to pry specifics out of the longtime lawmaker and former mayor. “The clock is running, so I’m closer,” he said after remarks to the New England Council at the Hampshire House. In the direction of running? “I’m closer,” he said. How much closer? “Several months closer,” he said, clearly enjoying the back-and-forth with reporters.

Capuano, who was elected in 1998, didn’t have many kind words for his current place of employment, saying that Congress has done little beyond “pontificating and posturing” this year.

In his remarks, he said the attack in Benghazi, which led to the deaths of four Americans, has raised legitimate questions. The White House has been under fire over how much control it exerted over talking points on the attack and how much it was attempting to insulate the State Department from any damage. But Republicans have turned hearings on the matter into a sideshow, and they have a “get Hillary Clinton” feel to them, he added.

One Dot candidate jumps intoat-large race; another drops out

On the last day mayoral and at-large candidates were able to apply for nomination papers at City Hall, a Savin Hill resident waded into the race, while another Dorchester resident withdrew his name from contention.

Catherine O’Neill, who appeared in an ad last year for Elizabeth Warren’s US Senate campaign, pulled nomination papers to run for at-large on Monday. A Lower Mills native and Savin Hill resident, O’Neill had been serving as campaign manager for state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry’s Senate run, taking over for Cayce McCabe after he left for District 8 Councillor Michael Ross’s mayoral campaign.

O’Neill is well-known in local political circles and wrote a play based on some of her experiences, titled “Murph.”

Separately, local activist Gene Gorman said on Twitter he is pulling out of the at-large race. “I am pulling the plug on my campaign,” he tweeted on Monday night, before deleting his Twitter account. “Election cycle better spent getting Marty Walsh elected mayor.”

Reached by email, Gorman, who jumped into the race after City Councillor At-Large Felix Arroyo launched a mayoral bid, confirmed that he will not run for City Council At-Large. Gorman has been involved with the Dorchester Historical Society and Dorchester Youth Soccer.

City Councillors At-Large Ayanna Pressley and Stephen Murphy are running for reelection.

The departures of City Councillor At-Large John Connolly and Arroyo to run for mayor have set off a stampede of hopefuls. Michael Flaherty, a former city councillor at-large from South Boston, is hoping to return to the 13-member council. Michelle Wu, a former Warren campaign aide, jumped into the at-large race in December.

Aside from Wu, O’Neill, Flaherty and the two incumbents, 21 potential candidates have applied for at-large nomination papers. Candidates must gather 1,500 certified signatures from registered voters in order to qualify for the ballot. Tues., May 21, at 5 p.m. is the last day and hour for filing nomination papers at City Hall.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at Email us at and follow us on Twitter: @LitDrop and @gintautasd.