Starting the BIG subject early, give Kevin Rothstein the credit...
More on this later, when I have time, to comment on some of the players.
Growing clout from minority voters and the possibility of an open seat in four years is prompting speculation that Boston might see a minority mayor in 2009.
“In four years from now, whether (Mayor Thomas M. Menino) runs or not, you will probably see a black candidate running for mayor,” said political and media consultant Joyce Ferriabough.
Tuesday’s election was not the triumph that progressives and minorities had sought, with at-large Councilor Felix Arroyo falling well behind Council President Michael Flaherty in votes.
But even so, many believe increasing turnout in minority wards coupled with an open-minded Boston electorate make a multiracial race more likely in ’09.
City Hall observers say minority leaders either eyeing or being eyed to run include: Menino development head Charlotte Golar Ritchie, state Rep. Marie St. Fleur, Arroyo, former Suffolk District Attorney Ralph Martin, state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, Ambassador Charles Stith and former City Councilor Bruce Bolling.
About the prospect of a minority mayor in 2009, Arroyo said, “Hopefully we have broken that barrier of color and voters will back someone not because of whether or not they have an accent or because of their ethnicity or color but because of what they bring to the plate.”
The biggest hurdle for a minority candidate is building a mayoral profile under the shadow of Menino, who hasn’t ruled out another term, said Darnell Williams, president and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
“There is a knowledge base and positioning that has to transpire well before that, and I think the real issue is credible leadership, that seems to be the thing that has to come out of this process,” he said.