Former council member Arroyo claims win over Campatelli

Felix D. Arroyo was a city councilor from 2003 to 2008 and a School Committee member from 1992 to 1999.
Felix D. Arroyo was a city councilor from 2003 to 2008 and a School Committee member from 1992 to 1999.(GLOBE FILE PHOTO)

Former Boston councilor Felix D. Arroyo declared victory over embattled incumbent Patricia Campatelli in the Suffolk register of probate race Tuesday, ending a two-year reign that was marked by controversy and high drama.

Arroyo, 66, claimed the Democratic nomination just past 9 p.m., posting on his official Twitter account, "Thank you Suffolk County! I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for register of probate."

Speaking at his victory party in Jamaica Plain, where about 40 supporters had gathered, Arroyo offered his thanks for their work.

"This is their victory," he said as he celebrated with family members, including his son, former councilor Felix G. Arroyo.


He also expressed appreciation for the voters who put their confidence in him.

"I'm delighted that they give me that trust," he said. "I really want to make sure that I do what I have to do to keep that trust.''

With 100 percent of Boston precincts reporting unofficial results Tuesday night, Arroyo had 53 percent of the vote in the city, far ahead of Campatelli's 12 percent.

With no Republican seeking the office, Arroyo's victory in November's general election is all but assured. The post pays $134,691 a year.

Arroyo defeated Campatelli and four other challengers: probation officer Richard J. Joyce, lawyers David T. Keenan and Martin J. Keogh, and East Boston activist John Sepulveda.

He said at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday that none of the other candidates had called to offer concessions but noted that it was possible they did not know how to reach him. Campatelli did not respond to the Globe's requests for comment.

As a former elected official who served on the Boston School Committee as well as the council, Arroyo enjoyed wide name recognition, as well as the endorsement of Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston. He expressed his gratitude to Walsh.


"I want to thank the mayor," Arroyo said. "He was incredible. He gave clear and strong support to me."

Campatelli's loss could spell the end of a political career that was controversial from the start. In the months leading up to her 2012 primary win, a series of profane rants against acquaintances appeared on her personal and campaign Facebook pages. In a Globe interview, Campatelli denied writing the posts.

Later, between the 2012 primary and general elections, Campatelli was involved in a verbal confrontation at an East Boston restaurant, witnesses told the Globe.

In December 2013, Campatelli was accused of punching a male subordinate following a holiday party, a charge that led to her suspension and an investigation that found probate employees said she often worked just 15 hours a week and spent much of that time "scratching lottery tickets, looking at East Boston real estate on the Internet, and filling out puzzles."

In recent days, Facebook again drew attention to Campatelli, as a page devoted to her campaign boasted on Sept. 2 that she had the endorsement of Elizabeth Warren, a claim that representatives for the US senator denied.

Then, just after midnight on Tuesday, or Election Day, a new post attacked both Warren and a Globe story about the endorsement post, saying that the Committee to Re-elect Patty Campatelli had never said that the Elizabeth Warren who endorsed her was the US senator.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.