Rivera may skip Tobin Race


Gibrán Rivera, the Jamaica Plain candidate who last year gave City Councilor John Tobin strong competition and vowed to challenge him again, told the Gazette he’s now having second thoughts.

“It’s something that is on my mind, and I’m considering it,” Rivera said of a run against Tobin in next year’s election. “I know that’s not as straight an answer as I’ve given you before.”

While Tobin won an impressive victory last fall to retain his District 6 council seat, Rivera trounced him in the JP part of the district and built a reputation as a candidate to watch. The Boston Phoenix suggested he could make a strong at-large City Council candidate.

Rivera began his concession speech last fall by saying, “My name is Gibrán Rivera and I’m running for City Council.” He repeatedly vowed over the following months to challenge Tobin again in 2007.

Rivera said he now has “different life circumstances” and is clearly excited about his new venture—an attempt to create a Massachusetts chapter of New York State’s independent Working Families Party. He spoke to the Gazette by phone while traveling to Quincy as part of the statewide organizing effort.

“My goal is to build movements,” Rivera said. “I’m going to do that through whatever vehicle is most important.”

Rivera said he is also “working on myself so I can be a better human being, live more consistently with my beliefs. There’s a great Spanish word, consecuente—someone who lives according to their beliefs.”

Tobin said he wishes Rivera luck, whatever his choice. “Anybody who puts their name on the ballot obviously cares about the community,” Tobin said. “He has probably realized there are other ways to help besides running for office.”

If Rivera does decide to run again, he’ll have his work cut out for him. While he won 57 percent of the JP vote in 2005, he won only 16 percent of the West Roxbury vote, costing him the election. Meanwhile, Tobin earned more than 10,000 votes and likely will be highly motivated to retain the seat. He previously told the Gazette he has his eyes on the Mayor’s Office, which will next go on the ballot in 2009—possibly without incumbent Thomas Menino on the ticket for the first time in more than 15 years.

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