UPDATE : take Lisa Menino out — she’s moved to Canton ! — and add Ruth Georges to the mix. She was Mayor Walsh’s neighborhood liaison for Dorchester and Mattapan and to the Haitian community. She’s already in the race and, if she turns out to be the only Haitian candidate in the race, has as fine a chance as anyone of making the “final.”
With Tim McCarthy not seeking re-election, the list of hopefuls to take the open Council seat could be a long one. Not all will actually submit nomination papers, but several surely will. Here’s my list, alphabetical, of those who could well get into this contest — some of whom are already in it :
Ricardo Arroyo : brother of former at-large Councillor (and 2013 Mayoral candidate) Felix G. Arroyo, and son of former Councillor Felix D. Arroyo, who is now Suffolk Register of Probate, he entered the race two weeks ago, before Tim’s announcement. I know all the Arroyos very very well; Ricardo has his Dad’s gentleness of spirit and his brother’s drive. He won’t now have the anti-vote to himself, as he would have, because there now will be no anti-vote. But he does have the head start, and in a tough contest, that counts for much.
Lee Blasi : as Tim’s chief of staff, Hyde Park’s Blasi seems well placed to corrall Tim’s support. Blasi has her own network as well, of business women from Roslindale as well as Hyde Park. If she runs, she’ll be a serious contender.
Emily Carrara : she’s young, barely 24, but this Readville resident, a cousin of State Representative Angelo Scaccia, has already worked several campaigns. Soft spoken and extremely likeable, her demeanor, dedication, and connections — and her age : campaigns are run mostly by people that young, and younger — would make her a serious contender if she runs.
Andrew N. Cousino : he ran for this seat in 2013 and has since worked in Mayor Walsh’s administration. He’s from upper Roslindale, not far from the Pleasant Cafe, a vote-rich area. His chances depend on who runs and who doesn’t. If he’s the only Roslindale candidate he could well make the final.
Will Dorcena : brother of Linda Dorcena Forry, he lives in the Gordon Avenue area in the heart of Hyde Park and has his own following, apart from his sister’s, and if she decides to get fully involved, from her strong position of connection to power as a Suffolk Construction executive, the combination could easily put him into the final. The District has a large Haitian-ancestry vote bloc, easily enough, given a decent outreach to Five’s non-Haitian voters, to win him the whole thing.
Conor E. Freeley : He’s finishing up at Temple University, lives in upper Roslindale, and was a summer intern in Mayor Walsh’s office. Freeley is deeply rooted in the neighborhood, graduated Boston Latin School — always a big deal in local Boston campaigns — and now works for a well known Pennsylvania state Delegate from a Philadelphia district. Freeley has made it known that he would like to run for office back at home; now is his chance, maybe ? If he runs, and Cousino and Carrara do not, he could well make the final.
Segun Idowu : executive director of the Black Economic Council, and a Hyde Park resident, he was a candidate in last November’s state election, seeking the State Representative seat long held by Angelo Scaccia. He finished third in that primary — Gretchen van Ness placed second — but his name is now known, which puts him ahead of most of my other likelies.
Lisa Menino : daughter in law of late Mayor Tom Menino, Lisa and her husband Tom Menino Junior hosted Governor Baker’s campaign in District Five — a campaign that saw Baker improve his Five showing from 24 percent in 2014 to 47 percent this time. (Baker improved by 19.5 percent citywide; his improvement in District Five was better than that. In 2014 he carried no precincts in Five; this time he won six and just missed winning three more.) Clearly Lisa (her husband too) has and can command a following, or two : those who worked for Baker and the even larger group who were her Dad in law’s home-base. If she enters the race, and no other Readville candidate does, she’d be a very serious contender to make the final.
Robert Orthman : I have no idea if Robert, whom I know well, wants to leave the comforts of City employment and campaign activism to put his own name on the ballot, but were he to do so he would, in my opinion, immediately become THE Roslindale candidate. I’m not sure of his reach into Hyde Park, but being the only Roslindale candidate, and able to win a sizeable number of its votes (12w of 25 precincts), would make him a serious contender.
Mimi Turchinetz : she’s an attorney in Boston City government, a lifelong Hyde park resident, an activist in progressive and community affairs, and she ran for the Five seat in 2013. No matter what the field looks like, she’ll be a serious contender given her vast lines of connection and her reputation as a practical-minded progressive.
Gretchen van Ness : another attorney, a civil rights activist, great public speaker, Fairmount Hill neighborhood activist, and was the runner-up to Angelo Scaccia in last year’s State Representative contest. Again, no matter what the field looks like, she’d be a very serious contender to make the final and even to win the whole shebang.
Dave Vittorini : he may well be the insiders’ pick, especially if Lee Blasi does not run. Vittorini has worked for John Connolly, Rob Consalvo, and now Michelle Wu. I doubt that any of the candidates can better his deep and wide connections to every corner of Five, and few can match them. If he runs, he’s probably the favorite to win it all.
Glenn Williams : emcee of Roslindale Parade dinners, activist in all things Rozzie, art studio right on Belgrade Avenue, if he were to run, and no other Roslindale candidate joins in, he probably gets into the final. (So might Robert Orthman.) But that’s the problem : can Roslindale unite ? It hasn’t the vote power to get anyone into the final if it does not do so.
As for me, I don’t live in Five, but 32 years ago I sought public office in a District covering half of the Council area. I have knocked thousands of its doors, and recently as well. I know almost all these potential candidates personally; any one of them would accredit a District that gave the City a legendary Mayor and whose other Counciollors — Dan Conley, Rob Consalvo, and of course Tim — have left major marks upon Boston public custom. And who’s to say there won’t be a candidate or two, or three, other than those who I have singled out ? After all, I don’t know everybody, despite what I sometimes claim. Let the fun now begin.
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere