South Boston’s Flynn has votes for City Council presidency

City Councillor Ed Flynn is set to assume the City Council presidency in January. Jockeying for the top job on the 13-member body ended last week with the South Bostonian gathering enough votes to lock down the position.

The other contenders were Kenzie Bok of Back Bay and Mission Hill and Ricardo Arroyo of Hyde Park. Arroyo is now supporting Flynn, and he has been tapped to head up the Council’s government operations committee.

Newcomer Kendra Hicks, who represents Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, will get the housing committee, while Tania Fernandes Anderson, who won the race to replace Kim Janey in District 7, is expected to take the chairmanship of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee.

Flynn also had the support of Michael Flaherty, Frank Baker and Erin Murphy.

The new councillors, and returning incumbents, will be sworn in on Jan. 3.

The Council president gets a gavel and a bigger office, with additional money for staff to match. He will work with the new mayor, Michelle Wu, who is now a former council colleague.

Under the city charter, the Council president becomes acting mayor when there’s a vacancy across the hall, as happened this year when Marty Walsh left for the Biden administration and Janey stepped in, becoming the first Black person and woman to lead the city.

Flynn, who was first elected to the council in 2017, is the son of former Mayor Ray Flynn, whose departure for the Vatican ambassadorship catapulted then-Council president Thomas Menino into the mayor’s office.

Flynn served in the Navy for 24 years and is a former probation officer at Suffolk Superior Court. He also worked in the US Labor Department during the Clinton administration.

Will Walsh run for governor?

Gov. Baker’s decision last week to nix a run for a third term sent the state’s political class scrambling to assess what happens next.

Democrats, locked out of the governor’s office since 2015, are finally hoping to get a decent shot to get back in with Baker out. The party’s chair, Gus Bickford, said in an email to supporters that Baker’s departure from the field means “this race is wide open.”

Three top Democrats have already announced they’re running: former state Sen. Ben Downing, Harvard professor Danielle Allen, and state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz. Former Republican state Rep. Geoff Diehl, a top supporter of Donald Trump, is running on the Republican side.

Annissa Essaibi George, a Dorchester city councillor at-large who ran for mayor earlier this year, is said to be weighing a run, according to a source.

But eyes remain on Attorney General Maura Healey as she weighs whether to wade into the race.

Additional eyes are turning to Marty Walsh, who gave up the mayor’s office to become President Biden’s labor chief. When he left City Hall in March, he wouldn’t rule out another run for public office. But when specifically asked about a governor’s race in 2022, Walsh said, “We’ll see what happens there. But I think I’ll be in Washington.”

Walsh is still in Washington, but he frequently comes back to his home in Dorchester, and keeps close tabs on the local political scene.

Appearing on CNN last week to talk national jobs numbers, Walsh was pressed on the governor’s race and said he “hasn’t thought much” about it. But he at least admitted to thinking about it.

Wu’s inaugural fund reveals initial donors

Mayor Wu’s inaugural fund, which is paying for her Jan. 3 inauguration event, this week offered a look at its initial donors. She was sworn in Nov. 16, due to the city charter requiring the elected mayor to be seated quickly when there is an acting mayor in place. The ceremony inside the City Council chamber was brief but well-attended, with Gov. Baker joining the Wu campaign’s neighborhood captains in the audience. After the swearing-in, Wu quickly walked across the hall to resume putting together her administration.

The Jan. 3 inauguration is likely to be a more lavish event. The Boston Globe reported in November that the fund was seeking up to $25,000 from donors, down from the $50,000 asked by organizers of Marty Walsh’s inaugural. His fund ended up raising $1.4 million.

Donors to Wu’s inaugural fund so far include the companies Boston Ship Repair and Dewey Square Group, a lobbying firm, as well as Kenneth Slater of Tremont Asset Management and Robert Hildreth, a longtime finance executive. Boston Ship Repair, Dewey Square Group, and Slater each kicked in $25,000, while Hildreth donated $10,000, according to a filing with campaign finance regulators.

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