In front of the dozens of people crammed into her Roxbury campaign office, Charlotte Golar Richie delivered an impassioned and confident speech this afternoon in which she addressed criticism of her campaign and confidently declared that she will be Boston’s next mayor.
The address, given over the excited “Charlotte!” chants of her supporters, came just moments after the former state representative received a fresh batch of endorsements from Charles Stith, former US Ambassador to Tanzania; Richard Taylor, a who was Massachusetts’ secretary of transportation under Governor William F. Weld; and Sarah Ann Shaw, the first African-American female television journalist to appear on Boston’s airwaves.
Those endorsements are the latest in what has been a steady stream of current and former elected officials and community leaders who have publicly announced their support for Golar Richie, the race’s only woman and one of six candidates of color, in recent weeks.
“The message is simple.... She’s prepared,” said Stith, who was once senior pastor at Boston’s Union United Methodist Church, before leading a prayer. “And she will keep the promise.”
Speaking for about 15 minutes, Golar Richie said she was honored to have received Stith's endorsement -- recalling the admiration she built for him while attending church services at Union United.
“To stand here with someone who I have idolized from the pew is just a blessing,” she said.
Golar Richie implored her supporters to continue knocking on doors and keeping the faith in her campaign -- one of 12 in a crowded and unpredictable field to replace longtime Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
She pointed out her campaign’s ability to raise more than $300,000 in the five months since she announced her candidacy, a number of front page stories about her mayoral bid in the pages of both of Boston’s daily newspapers.
“We are on the verge of winning this thing,” Golar Richie declared. “Think of what we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time.”
In an interview following the event, Golar Richie said that her campaign worked to stagger her endorsements so that many would happen in September -- as many Boston voters begin tuning into the mayor’s race for the first time.
Golar Richie’s campaign has in part focused on winning the backing of prominent elected officials of color. She recently won the endorsements of Bill Owens, Boston’s first black state senator, as well as the backing of former state representatives Royal Bolling, Doris Bunte, and Shirley Owens-Hicks.
She also boasts the support of Johnny Ford, the former mayor of Tuskegee, Ala., has Harvard professor Charles Ogletree as a campaign adviser, and marched alongside Cecile de Jongh, the first lady of the US Virgin Islands, during the annual Caribbean Carnival festival.
“We have been gaining momentum every day,” she said. “We knew that we needed to rev things up... and get into high gear after Labor Day. So that was, in terms of pacing, absolutely part of our plan.”Wesley Lowery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.