Connolly, former councillor at-large, endorses ex-aide in District 3 race

Ann M. Walsh, one of seven candidates running for the District 3 City Council seat, this week received the endorsement of former City Councillor At-Large John Connolly.

Walsh, a Lower Mills resident, worked for Connolly as his policy director and chief of staff while he was in City Hall. In 2013, he gave up his citywide seat to run for mayor, with improving Boston Public Schools a key plank of his platform.

After the mayoral race, Connolly, who had chaired City Council’s education committee, teamed up with Walsh to co-found a nonprofit, 1647 Boston, named for the year that Massachusetts lawmakers declared education a “community responsibility.” The nonprofit, which closed up shop earlier this year, focused on providing training to education professionals.

In the last few election cycles, Connolly has also been involved with outside groups, also known as super PACs. A West Roxbury resident, he has supported Andrea Campbell, the councillor for District 4 (Dorchester and Mattapan), when she ran for mayor in 2021, and for attorney general in 2022.

District 3, anchored in Dorchester, also includes part of the South End.

Walsh and Connolly first met while he was on the Council campaign trail and she was seeking to stop the closure of the Lee Academy Pilot School. “She seemed to be omnipresent in Dorchester, in whatever was going on in Dorchester,” Connolly recalled.

When Walsh joined his Council staff, “she really was my alter ego on all the education work we did,” he added. “I would not have been able to do any of it without Ann. She’s really smart and understands policy. She has a huge heart and will walk through walls for her neighbor.”

If she wins the District 3 seat, Connolly said, “Dorchester is going to get a councillor who will spend every waking hour trying to help Dorchester, but the whole city gets a councillor who is serious, focused on getting things done, and brings some real smarts to the job.”

Connolly joined the Walsh campaign to knock doors in Fields Corner last weekend.

“Working for and then with John gave me an opportunity to learn how a public servant can create real impact in the community,” Walsh said in a statement. “John and I have built a strong partnership in our work for families in this city and I’m grateful and excited to have him on board for this campaign.”

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