As race enters stretch, endorsements abound

Mayoral candidate Bill Walczak leaned over to pet a dog named Berklee as he campaigned Thursday. The 12 candidates in the race to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino were scrambling for votes as the election entered its final days.
Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe
Mayoral candidate Bill Walczak leaned over to pet a dog named Berklee as he campaigned Thursday. The 12 candidates in the race to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino were scrambling for votes as the election entered its final days.

As the candidates dash toward the final weekend before Tuesday’s preliminary vote, endorsements are coming fast and furious. Here are some of Thursday’s key announcements:

In what his campaign is calling a major political coup, Felix G. Arroyo secured the mayoral endorsement of state Representative Byron Rushing, one of the longest-serving African-American legislators in Massachusetts. Rushing vowed to rally supporters in his district, including Lower Roxbury and the South End.

Rushing said he threw his support behind Arroyo because he is the only candidate who is addressing issues Rushing has long championed, including ending poverty. “He supports using the city as an engine for helping people who are poor,” he said.


Arroyo said, “Representative Rushing is an icon in this city.”

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Two other legislators, Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Russell Holmes, both Boston Democrats, are backing Charlotte Golar Richie.

Golar Richie, a former state representative, is one of six candidates of color in a field of a dozen candidates.

Her campaign previously announced the endorsements of state Representative Gloria Fox, another member of the black and Latino caucus, and four former state legislators who are black.

Bay Windows — New England’s largest publication for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender readers — has endorsed Michael P. Ross, saying he has “vigorously and enthusiastically advocated” for equality for their community.


The South End News, Bay Windows’ sister publication, endorsed Councilor John R. Connolly, saying he is not afraid to shake up the status quo. The editorial also said that he distinguished himself by getting into the race before it was clear Mayor Thomas M. Menino would step down and dubbed him “The Brave.”

The campaign of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley played up his support in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community on his campaign website, under a headline that said LGBT leaders had endorsed him in Bay Windows and the South End News. The endorsement cited was an open letter that ran as an advertisement in the newspapers’ voters guide.

 The supporters noted that during his time on the City Council, Conley cast the deciding vote to extend benefits to same-sex partners of city workers and that he appointed the first LGBT liaison in the history of the district attorney’s office.



Richie asks supporters to bring 10 people to the polls

Ten people.


Charlotte Golar Richie is asking her supporters to bring 10 people with them to the polls Tuesday for the preliminary election. And given the palpable energy emanating from the 200 people packed into the Bell in Hand Tavern on Wednesday night, that goal seemed attainable.

The candidate took the stage to Chaka Khan’s legendary “I’m Every Woman.” And it was “every woman” who introduced her: the out-of-work teacher, the activist, and a roster of glass-ceiling smashers, including Sarah-Ann Shaw, the first African-American woman to appear as a Boston television reporter; Colette Phillips, one of the city’s first black female public relations executives; and Evelyn Murphy, the first woman in Massachusetts to hold a constitutional office.

“I know what it takes to break barriers in Massachusetts,” said Murphy, who was elected lieutenant governor in 1986. “She’s got the skills. She’s got the qualifications. She has the right values. I want you to find 10 more votes for Charlotte. She can’t do it without us. We have to carry her on our backs. Do not sleep at night!”

The two-hour fund-raiser and get-out-the-vote event looked to the future while honoring the living legends whose achievements paved the way for an African-American woman to run for mayor.

Golar Richie said her goal is to unify the city, and she assured the crowd that she is a pragmatic idealist committed to getting the job done.

But since this was billed as a “Women for Charlotte” event, she took a minute to have a sister moment and talked to the women in the room: “Let’s just think about the issues that women tend to care about. We care about issues that the guys care about, as well.

“We want to have good jobs and opportunity, don’t we? And there are many of us who are raising families solo, so we need to have those resources. Not only are we taking care of our children, but we’re also taking care of our parents, and we’re taking care, sometimes, of our grandchildren.

“We need good housing, safe decent housing. That’s not a mystery to us. We need to address the issue of poverty because we know that women with families are now the face of poverty, not just the single man living under the Southeast Expressway.

“We need to have access to quality schools because we know as mothers, we know as grandmothers, we know that education is the key to a better, positive, more prosperous future.”

“Am I resonating with you?”

“Woos!” and “Yeahs!” were shouted in response.

And if that wasn’t confirmation enough that her message resonated, the women scooping up signs, fliers, and leaflets on the way out seemed to offer further proof.



Conley sharpens rhetoric against Boston-area casino Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley has sharpened his rhetoric against development of a casino in or near Boston, telling voters that a gambling resort would drive up crime, change the city’s character, and hurt small business.

“It’s a bad idea for economic development,” Conley told a dozen small business owners and others Thursday at a campaign stop in Charlestown. “Casinos are just voracious consumers. They add nothing. The jobs are low paid and part time. The only thing that makes money is the casino.”

Conley staked an early claim to the casino issue in May when he called for a referendum that would require both citywide and East Boston approval for a proposed gambling resort at Suffolk Downs racecourse. Right now it appears a vote to approve the project will be limited to East Boston, but some councilors are pushing for a citywide vote.

Conley had stopped short of saying he was against a casino. Another mayoral candidate, former health care executive Bill Walczak, has made his opposition to the casino a centerpiece of his campaign.

But on Thursday, Conley spoke negatively about a proposed casino in campaign stops in East Boston, Charlestown, and elsewhere.

At Paolo’s Trattoria in Charlestown, he listened to voters talk about the impact of a competing casino proposal in nearby Everett. They asked about the traffic and crime.

Conley said a casino in or near Boston would probably increase instances of domestic violence and lead to more gambling addiction.

He also described casinos as a bubble that draws business away from restaurants and other establishments. The crowd agreed.

“From an economic point of view, you’d rather have a biotech company that puts money into the local economy,” said one person in the crowd, Michael Donovan, 66. “Casinos extract money from the local economy.”

In May when Conley first pushed for a citywide vote, he described himself as a “casino agnostic” who lacked strong feelings either way.

On Thursday after a series of campaign stops, a reporter asked if Conley had changed his mind about a casino.

“People listening to me probably think I’m anticasino,” Conley said. “I’m admittedly very skeptical of this idea. This is something I don’t want to jam down people’s throats, but I also don’t want to tell them what to think.”