Four new candidates join hopeful field in District 4

Four new names have been added to the growing list of candidates who say they plan to seek the District 4 city council seat now held by City Councillor Andrea Campbell, who is running for mayor.

The four hopefuls who emerged over the last week include William Dickerson III, Nikkia Jean-Charles, Trina Ruffin, and Troy Smith. They join Jacob Urena, Josette Williams, Brian Worrell, Leonard M. Lee, Sr., Joel Richards, and Trevour Smith, all of whom have set up accounts with the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Dickerson, 42, released a sleek campaign video officially launching his campaign last week after filing with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance in November. He is the son of Greater Love Tabernacle Pastor William E. Dickerson II, and as a former city council aide, he’s no stranger to City Hall.

“Throughout my career in public service I have been focused on delivering necessary services to the residents of Boston, especially our young people and our seniors,” Dickerson said. “I’m proud of my experience, and I am looking forward to sharing my story and skills with residents of District 4 as we work together to improve our neighborhoods and city. I was born to serve and lead and will be ready to do so on day one.”

Jean-Charles, 18, who lives in Mattapan, said she was inspired by US Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s 2018 campaign and is running on the message “change is on the horizon.” Most recently, she has been active setting up the Mattapan Community Fridge project. She also serves as a member of the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council.

“I plan on bringing my perspective and energy as a young Black woman to city hall,” she said in a statement. “We have an opportunity to set new precedents with this campaign and envision change on the horizon.” 

Smith, 56, is the pastor and founder of A New Day Holiness Church of God and Christ in Dorchester Center. He says he’s running “to provide a link between the community and City Hall.” Smith, a Dorchester resident, worked for Boston’s Center for Youth and Families for 22 years.

“I’m not new to the challenges. I’m homegrown, and I’ve seen the various challenges,” he said. If elected, he said, he will tackle solutions surrounding the vaccine rollout, affordable housing, and elder services. 

Ruffin, 50, lives in Dorchester and runs the non-profit Ruffin Mobile Educational Services, which brings tutoring services to the Mildred C Hailey Apartments, South Street Housing Development, and Geneva Apartments. 

The field will not be set in stone until later in the year. Candidates must gather 200 certified signatures this spring in order to appear on the preliminary election ballot on Sept. 21. Two finalists will face off in a general election on Nov. 2.

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