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Michael Flaherty hopes to return to politics

Michael Flaherty, spoke at a Dorchester Heights Association meeting in South Boston Oct. 11, 2011, then on a failed bid to return to the Boston City Council.

Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe

Michael Flaherty, spoke at a Dorchester Heights Association meeting in South Boston Oct. 11, 2011, then on a failed bid to return to the Boston City Council.

Former Boston City Council president Michael F. Flaherty, who posed Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s stiffest challenge over two decades, said Friday he is considering either a second mayoral run or a bid to return for an at-large council seat in November.

After losing a bid to return to the council in 2011, Flaherty has been practicing law, but told the Globe he hopes to return to politics.

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The South Boston Democrat scored 42 percent of the vote against Menino in 2009. On Friday, he said that comparatively strong showing against the powerhouse incumbent should help qualify him as a potent threat for either the top job or one of the at-large posts expected to open this year as the elected ranks shuffle themselves.

“I still remain very eager to serve in an elected capacity in the city of Boston,” Flaherty said in a phone interview. “Recent events certainly present some interesting options.”

Flaherty said he would likely make a decision in the next week or two. He met with Menino two weeks ago, he said, to discuss crime, development projects, and city schools. He described it as “a nice conversation about what was going on in the city.”

Elected to the council in 1999, Flaherty was long eyed as a potential successor to Menino. After finishing second in the 2009 preliminary election, Flaherty teamed with fellow councilor Sam Yoon -- whom he planned to appoint as his deputy -- to challenge Menino in November. Menino won a fifth term with 57 percent of the vote.

The mayor announced Thursday he would not seek a sixth.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at James.OSullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.
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