The chance that the next mayor of Boston will be from Jamaica Plain got a lot bigger this week. The mayoral race could be dominated by candidates who live in or represent JP, and some of them are giving stronger signals of making a run in Gazette interviews.
Those who have not ruled out a run in Gazette interviews include: City Councilor Felix Arroyo, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, Suffolk County criminal courts clerk Maura Hennigan, City Councilor Mike Ross and state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez. Other possible contenders who have not yet granted interviews are state public safety Secretary Andrea Cabral and City Councilor Tito Jackson. All except Jackson and Ross live in JP as well.
The currently announced candidates are City Councilor John Connolly of West Roxbury, Charles Clemons of Roxbury and Will Dorcena of Hyde Park.
Possible local candidates who will not run are state Rep. Russell Holmes, who represents part of JP, and Paul Grogan, president and CEO of The Boston Foundation (TBF), who lives in JP. Holmes told the Gazette yesterday he will not run, and TBF spokesperson Ted McEnroe told the Gazette today Grogan “is not running.”
While the contenders who spoke to the Gazette all said yesterday was about honoring outgoing Mayor Thomas Menino, today is clearly about starting to strategize about a possible run.
Sánchez told the Gazette this morning he is considering a run, his first open acknowledgement of the possibility. “It’s a big decision to make. It’s a family decision,” he said.
“I’m not going to take it lightly because you have to go in with your entire heart,” Sánchez continued. “There’s no half-stepping with this. It’s the future of the city. Any candidate who is going to do this, you have to have public service in your gut. One thing I do know, public service is in my gut.”
The following is a review of what some of the other potential local candidates told the Gazette yesterday:
Arroyo: “The city’s going to have a conversation about how we move forward and what kind of leader we want…We haven’t had a conversation like that in a long time. I’m looking forward to being part of it, and I hope everybody in the city is going to engage [in it].”
Chang-Díaz: “I’m humbled to be considered [as a potential candidate]…I see why anyone who cares about good government would take a look at the seat.”
Hennigan: “[A run for the Mayor's Office is] “not something I’m planning on, but you never want to rule anything out.”
Ross: “There is plenty of time to talk about my plans and other people’s plans.”