Lots of city office-seekers get in line

May 29, 2009
By

JOHN RUCH

No one is officially on the ballot yet for this year’s mayoral and Boston City Council races. But a slew of candidates took the first step in that direction last week, turning in thousands of voter signatures. Only a few would-be candidates failed to turn in any signatures.

City Councilor John Tobin, whose District 6 seat covers most of Jamaica Plain, will run unopposed for the second straight election.

“I’m humbled by it,” Tobin said of the lack of opposition, adding he will campaign anyway to stay in touch with residents.

But in District 7, which includes part of Egleston Square, incumbent Chuck Turner is facing four poten-tial challengers. And in District 8, which includes part of Hyde Square, incumbent Mike Ross drew a challenge from Northeast-ern University economics professor Oscar Brookins.

There are eight potential candidates for the Mayor’s Office, including incumbent Thomas Menino. The four “at-large,” or citywide, City Council seats could have up to 22 candidates fighting over them.

But it is unlikely that all of the would-be candidates collected enough valid signatures to make the ballot. The Boston Election Depart-ment has until June 23 to validate the signatures.

An Election Department source said that early indications are that there will be enough candidates for mayor and the City Council to hold a preliminary election in September. That would mean at least four mayoral candidates and at least nine citywide City Council candidates would make the ballot.

Potential mayoral candidates include: William Feegbeh; Gary Finneran; current City Councilor Michael Flaherty; John Hanney; Kevin McCrea; Menino; JP resident Gareth Saunders; and current City Councilor Sam Yoon.

Potential at-large City Council candidates include: JP resident Felix G. Arroyo; Doug Bennett; Natalie Carithers; incumbent John Connolly; Ego Ezedi; Robert Fortes; Tomás Gonzalez; Marty Hogan; Jaha Hughes; Tito Jackson; Andrew Kenneally; Peter Lin-Marcus; incumbent Steve Murphy; Hiep Nguyen; Ayanna Pressley; JP resident Sean Ryan; Jean-Claude Sanon; Shunaiber Tauhid; Bill Trabucco; JP resident Dr. Francisco Trilla; and Scotland Willis. McCrea is also a candidate in this race as a back-up plan if he fails to make the mayoral ballot.

In District 7, as the Gazette previously reported, Turner is facing Althea Garrison, Carlos “Tony” Henriquez, Roy Owens and Jackson Square resident David Wyatt.

Brookins, a Mission Hill resident, said his inspiration for running is “democracy,” to ensure Ross has a challenger.

Brookins said his main issues with Ross include Ross’s sometimes controversial criticism of college students living in neighborhoods; Ross’s support for various versions of rent control; and “inappropriate construction projects” that find ways around zoning codes or eat up open space.

Oscar and his wife Kathryn frequently have filed lawsuits attempting to halt large developments in Mission Hill and the Longwood Medical Area.

Oscar Brookins made a previous unsuccessful run for the City Council seat 20 years ago. Kathryn Brookins previously made two unsuccessful runs for the local 15th Suffolk District state representative seat, most recently in 2002.

While getting a place on the ballot is ideal for winning an election, it is not necessary. Almost any citizen can run as a write-in candi-date, and it is possible some candidates may choose to do that this fall.

The preliminary election, if necessary, will be held Sept. 22. The final election will be Nov. 3.

Best of JP 2014