Campaign notebook

Mayoral candidates shake hands along parade route

The Boston College marching band cooled off at the end of the Allston-Brighton Parade in Oak Square in Brighton. Candidates vying to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino walked along the parade route seeking undecided voters.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff
The Boston College marching band cooled off at the end of the Allston-Brighton Parade in Oak Square in Brighton. Candidates vying to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino walked along the parade route seeking undecided voters.

Along some stretches of the 3oth Annual Allston-Brighton Parade on Sunday, mayoral hopefuls appeared to outnumber voters who had made up their minds.

Two days before Boston voters hit the polls, at least six of the people vying to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino made their way down about 2 miles of sunny parade route in between marching bands and bagpipers.

But waves, smiles, and quick handshakes did not seem to move the many undecided voters who lined the route toward a definite choice.


Allston resident John Bennett, 77, watched some of the candidates go by and said seeing them helped a little, but not enough to narrow it down.

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“I’ll make the decision later on,” he said, leaving open the possibility that he might pick on Tuesday, the day of the preliminary election.

“I’m not comfortable pulling the trigger right now,” said Brighton resident John Pappas, 38, as candidates and their sign-wielding contingents marched past.

He said was going to look at each of the candidates’ websites, see where they stood on issues like education and fighting crime, and then make up his mind.

Karen Sarao, 36, of Brighton said she planned to vote on Tuesday, but remained undecided.


While it probably would not sway her vote, she said she liked seeing the candidates in person.

“It’s good to see them, to see that they’re actually people and not just flyers that have been shoved in my mailbox for the last month and a half,” she said, right before City Councilor Felix G. Arroyo, smiling, walked up and shook her hand.

Undecided voter Mike Marolda, 30, of Brighton said half-jokingly he was going to pick his candidate based on the firmness of his or her handshake as each met him along the parade route.

By that metric, he said, Charlotte Golar Richie, former city housing chief, was in the lead.

Some stretches of the route were only sparsely lined with people, but that did not stop candidates from seeking out every hand.


City Councilor John R. Connolly repeatedly broke into a jog, zig-zagging from one side of the road to another, hand extended.

“What’s up, guys?” he said to two police officers. “Thanks for doing what you’re doing.”

City Councilor Michael P. Ross sprinted back and forth along Washington Street — befitting of a candidate whose primary TV ad features him running — shaking hands and giving out campaign literature.

In short interviews, many of the candidates said their campaigns and get-out-the-vote efforts were poised for a positive result on Tuesday.

“I feel very confident,” state Representative Martin J. Walsh said a moment before the parade began. “I feel like Bill Belichick, ready for a game.”

“It’s feeling good,” Golar Richie said.

“I think we’re going to have a big turnout” on Tuesday, Ross said as he stood in formation with his supporters, “and that model is going favor us.”

Citing his campaign’s voter turnout operation, City Councilor Rob Consalvo said: “I feel confident I can actually finish first.”

In the middle of the parade, Connolly spent a few seconds just marching down the middle of the street, looking fatigued but managing a smile.

“I’m definitely enjoying it,” Connolly said, “and I’m definitely exhausted.”

Then he again broke into jog.

There were more people to meet and not much time.

Joshua Miller


Walczak plans plane with banner to fly over city

It’s a bird! It’s a kite!

No, it’s a plane that will circle the city Monday with a banner for Bill Walczak.

One day before Boston voters pick the top two candidates for mayor, Walczak plans to have a plane zoom around the city with a 3,000-square-foot banner flapping in the wind.

The banner will read “Vote Walczak for Mayor — Stop the Casino.”

The plane should be overhead from 7-11 a.m. and again from 3-7 p.m., the campaign said.

The Walczak campaign said it came up with the idea to remind voters that Walczak has distinguished himself as the only candidate in the race who is against the casino.

“This is literally my 10,000-foot message for Boston,’’ Walczak said.

Walczak said the banner idea reminded him of a similar stunt by a fired newspaper columnist who hired a plane to fly a banner around a Harvard football game urging the newspaper to rehire him.

He said the goal is to grab people’s attention.

“I hope people will get that message from this, even if they have to look up in the sky to get it,’’ said Walczak.

Meghan Irons