Mayoral candidates seemed to have been everywhere in the days leading up to the preliminary election, campaigning around-the-clock and shaking hands endlessly at T stops, senior centers, and forums. And while they were competitive, they were collegial, even having a bit of fun together.
But in the days since, it is as if the number of public appearances has been reduced with the number of candidates, and the niceness factor has begun to fade.
The mayoral race, marked during the preliminary by camaraderie among the 12 candidates, has quickly devolved since last Tuesday into a far less congenial affair, with state Representative Martin J. Walsh and Councilor at Large John R. Connolly feuding personally over campaign finance and police compensation.
With both candidates scrambling to woo voters before Nov. 5, that shift in tone is likely to stay acrimonious in the final five weeks.
Connolly said his time in the first two weeks of the two-person contest must largely be focused on building coalitions and garnering endorsements, rather than on public campaigning. Much of the frenetic affair has moved behind the scenes. Phone calls and fund-raising have replaced handshakes, and meetings with neighborhood leaders have supplanted neighborhood block parties.
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