Seventh in a series of profiles of Boston’s 12 mayoral candidates.
Charlotte Golar Richie was almost 3,000 miles from Boston, and had just navigated a dark mountain road near Los Angeles, when the news broke: Mayor Thomas M. Menino was not seeking a sixth term.
“My phone blew up,” Golar Richie recalled. “Lots of text messages. People calling, saying, ‘What are you going to do? What’re you going to do?’ ”
Golar Richie’s supporters and some pundits have for more than a decade predicted she would become Boston’s first black and first female mayor. She had the pedigree (Peace Corps alumna with two master’s degrees) and experience (former state representative, neighborhood development chief in Menino’s Cabinet, top aide to Governor Deval Patrick).
She had stature and grace — almost an air of celebrity — that set her apart from other politicians, they said.
But when the big moment arrived and Menino announced he would retire, she was a long way from elected politics. Her fund-raising account was dormant. Her political network had been in hibernation — and the preliminary election was just six months away.
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