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A sprinting, soggy mayoral spiel

Walsh, Connolly join wet parade

“I was extra pumped up to be in Roslindale, where I grew up,’’ said Councilor John Connolly. “I need Roslindale to get me over the finish line.’’ Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

It rained on the parade Sunday, but the two mayoral hopefuls didn’t seem to mind.

The weather turned from a light drizzle to a steady, heavy rain as state Representative Martin J. Walsh and Councilor John R. Connolly marched in the 38th annual Roslindale Day Parade.

Despite the downpour, each of the men hoping to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino gripped and grinned their way along the route, a little more than four weeks before Boston chooses its next mayor.

“John Connolly, I’m running for mayor,” the councilor said again and again as he stuck out his palm. “I need you in November.”


Connolly, who grew up in Roslindale, kept a frenetic pace. Sporting a bright orange polo shirt soaked with rain, he shook hands, hugged, and high-fived his way across the route, almost constantly sprinting from one side of the street to the other.

“Rozzie’s a place where I’m going to be competitive and campaign hard out here,” said Representative Martin Walsh at the 38th annual Roslindale Day Parade. Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

A camera crew working for his campaign captured much of his high-energy activity on video.

Walsh, wearing a dark jacket, a white button-down shirt, and a blue “Boston Strong” tie kept a quick, though less manic, rhythm. He broke into a jog as he greeted people escaping the rain on porches and huddled under store awnings.

“How are you guys?” he said shaking hands, water dripping down his face. “How are you? Marty Walsh.”

Connolly and Walsh were both backed by contingents of few dozen drenched supporters wielding campaign signs (blue and orange for Connolly, red for Walsh), who bellowed their names and cheered them on.

Walsh took the many Connolly signs along the route in stride, gamely greeting people who were clearly supporting his opponent.

“I have a nice red sign — it’ll balance the house out real well,” a smiling Walsh told Tom and Patsy Condon, standing in front of a home bearing a sign from the councilor’s campaign.


Connolly also encountered some clumps of Walsh supporters and made an effort to shake all of their hands.

While many voters along the route already had picked their candidate in the Nov. 5 mayoral election, others were undecided.

“I need all the Consalvo folks to become Connolly folks in November,” Connolly said, after quickly chatting with a group of older people under umbrellas, referring to Councilor Rob Consalvo, who came up short in last month’s preliminary mayoral contest.

Standing on their covered porch on South Street, Roslindale residents Theresa Kim and Christopher Barber watched the parade pass.

They said they did not yet have a firm choice in the race but were leaning toward voting for Connolly. They said they had concerns about both candidates, citing their positions on casino gambling, among other issues.

“I’m not so happy about seeing either candidate take outside money,” Barber said, mentioning the campaigns’ recent skirmish over a pledge to attempt to keep independent spending out of the race.

At the end of the parade route, Walsh and Connolly both greeted each other with smiles.

Speaking to reporters separately, each said that Roslindale was important to their efforts to win next month.

“I was extra pumped up to be in Roslindale, where I grew up, as a finalist for mayor, so I was going to make sure I shook every hand there was,” a soaked Connolly said. “I need Roslindale to get me over the finish line.’’


“This is very important,” Walsh said of Roslindale. “Rozzie’s a place where I’m going to be competitive and campaign hard out here.”

Walsh added that he did not mind the rain. “It cools me down,” he said.

The parade was Connolly’s only public campaign stop of the day, while Walsh had a busier itinerary.

He attended a service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the South End in the morning and house parties in Jamaica Plain after the parade.

The Rev. Tim Crellin, the vicar of St. Stephen’s, noted Walsh’s presence to the congregation as the service concluded.

“You may know Marty is considering a career change,” he joked.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.