Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.
Apr
2013
4

Longtime LiUNA! Member Is First Person to Announce Candidacy for Boston Mayor



The Mayor’s office in Boston isn’t exactly a bastion of high turnover. Since 1968, only three men have held the position — Kevin White from ’68-84, Raymond Flynn from ’84-93, and Thomas Menino from ’93 until the present. Now, with Menino opting not to run for a sixth term due to illness, all eyes are on the list of potential replacements.

Enter longtime Laborers International Union of American (LiUNA!) member Martin Walsh, a State Representative who has kicked things off in announcing his candidacy..  Walsh’s deep commitment to labor and his impressive warchest ($175,000 in his campaign finance account) make him an early favorite in the yet-to-be-defined field. Walsh told the Boston Herald,

“I’ve made my mind up. I’m very comfortable with my decision. I’m running for mayor. I’m making calls, and if other candidates announce, good luck to them.”

A slew of potential candidates are expected to decide if they’ll go toe to toe with Walsh, the President of LiUNA! Local 223. With a position as storied and sought after as Mayor of Boston, residents will no doubt have plenty of options come primary season. The Boston Globe has begun to speculate about other potential entrants:

Boston city councilor Felix G. Arroyo ­secured the blessing of his family and sent a letter to supporters saying he is “seriously considering” a campaign.
   
Others poised to jump into the race include city councilors Michael P. Ross (“very closely and seriously considering it”), Rob Consalvo (“strongly considering”), and Tito Jackson (“still strongly considering”).

“This has become the wild West very quickly,” said Councilor at Large John R. Connolly, who launched his mayoral bid in February before Menino bowed out. “That’s a good thing for Boston, because we’ll have a thorough debate and candidates who can speak to a number of different visions for ­Boston.”

Absent from the list of prospects are a woman and a staunchly “business-friendly” candidate. Councilor-at-Large Ayanna Pressley and state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz have had their names mentioned but have yet to formalize any plans. James E. Rooney, ­executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Author­ity, is currently gauging support. He would likely be the favorite among business leaders.

The deadline to declare is May 13th. The open primary will be held on Sept. 24th and the top two candidates will run in the November 5th general election.

For Walsh, strong union ties may be the key to making it to the final round. A laborer by trade, Walsh was elected as the general agent for the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District in January 2011. He also serves as a co-chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus. This may help him break away from what is likely to be a crowded field of solid candidates.

Mayor Menino’s exit announcement came suddenly, shrinking the timeline for candidates to prepare for this important election. The decision was not entirely surprising, though, considering recent polling suggested Menino might have had some difficulty securing a 6th term.

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