The real legacy of this year’s mayoral campaign isn’t the triumph of Marty Walsh, the passionate, hard-working son of the city; nor is it the downfall of John Connolly. The race to replace Mayor Tom Menino resonates because of how it unfolded, and what it portends for the way state and local campaigns operate in the super PAC era.
The first open Boston mayor’s contest in a generation was the race that broke the state’s campaign finance system. A campaign that began with direct appeals to voters in neighborhood auditoriums finished as a flood of uncontrolled, untraceable outside money. And, absent rapid reform on Beacon Hill, it’s a preview of things to come.