Baker wins Dorchester district seat long held by Feeney

Frank Baker celebrated with his twin children, Benjamin (left) and Maxine at his post election party.
Barry Chin/Globe Staff
Frank Baker celebrated with his twin children, Benjamin (left) and Maxine at his post election party.

Frank Baker’s win over John K. O’Toole in last night’s District 3 City Council race will make him the only fresh face in Boston’s legislative body.

But one of the council’s returning members, Bill Linehan of District 2, barely eked out a win, by a margin of just 87 votes.

The results of those two races were the only close calls of last night’s district elections. In District 7 and District 4, incumbents Tito Jackson and Charles C. Yancey won in landslides.


In the District 3 election, the only City Council race without an incumbent, Baker garnered the votes of 56 percent of the 9,433 residents who came to the polls. O’Toole finished with 44 percent.

Get Metro Headlines in your inbox:
The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“I’m just thrilled about the win,’’ Baker said, after getting the news at his campaign headquarters in Savin Hill. “Now it’s about reaching out to people that were not necessarily with me, and representing all of District 3.’’

Baker, a Savin Hill native and a former employee of Boston’s municipal printing plant, was vice president of the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association for a year.

Maureen Feeney, who had spent almost two decades representing much of Dorchester, announced in April that she would not seek reelection.

O’Toole lost despite support from Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Baker had State Representative Martin J. Walsh’s backing.


Outside Florian Hall, in the southern part of the district where O’Toole lives, his supporters and Baker backers lined the path to the polling station, holding signs and encouraging voters.

One constituent, Mary DeMariano, 57, said she voted for Baker because she was familiar with his life story. “He’s spent all his life in Dorchester,’’ she said. “He comes from a big family. He’s a lot like me. I think he’s going to do a good job.’’

Despite living in O’Toole’s neighborhood, Leah Finn, 45, voted for Baker because she was looking for a candidate who would work to improve schools.

“I have four school-age children who can’t go to their neighborhood school, so I’m spending all this money to send them to private school,’’ Finn said.

In District 2 - including South Boston, Chinatown, and parts of Roxbury and the South End - Linehan, of South Boston, fended off a challenge from newcomer Suzanne Lee. He received 50.23 percent of the 10,084 votes; she got 49.73 percent.


Lee, of Chinatown, tried to be the first Chinese-American to win a City Council seat. She showed promise in the September primary when she outpaced Linehan by more than 200 votes.

In District 7, Jackson, the incumbent, received 84 percent of the vote, trouncing Sheneal Parker, a Boston public school teacher who ran on her leadership roles in community organizations. Jackson was first elected just eight months ago in a special election after the ouster of Chuck Turner, who was sentenced in January to three years in prison for accepting a $1,000 bribe.

Yancey, who has held the District 4 seat for 28 years, received 89 percent of the vote to defeat J.R. Rucker, a telecommunications technician who has run unsuccessfully in almost every City Council election since 1987.

Andrew Ryan of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Martine Powers can be reached at . Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.