John Connolly was wrapping up his stemwinder at Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen on Tuesday night, high off a strong performance in his first debate against mayoral opponent Marty Walsh. His voice and heels rose, buoyed by the enthusiastic crowd of mostly young, mostly black supporters who had gathered at the South End bar to watch the debate and fete him afterward.
“At the end of the day, we’re all connected,” he said. “I want to be a mayor who works with you so that we have a city where my children are your children, and your children are my children.”
Then he addressed the elephant that had been crowding the room all evening: Despite Connolly’s strenuous efforts, Walsh had won the endorsement of the three top candidates of color in the mayoral preliminary. The next day, state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry would endorse Walsh, too. In a race that could hinge on votes in black and Hispanic neighborhoods, that was a coup for Walsh.
Connolly tried to sound unfazed. “I’m not going to have the big elected official endorsements,” he told the crowd of activists, to cheers. “But I’ll take your endorsement.”
But he has to know the lopsided endorsement tally means trouble, with candidates who pulled voters in several directions in the preliminary now united against him.
You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month
Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.
- High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
- Convenient access across all of your devices
- Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
- Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
- Less than 25¢ a week