Ryan plans At-Large run

JP resident Sean Ryan, who has twice bid unsuccessfully for a seat on the Boston City Council, plans to make a third run this year, for a citywide, At-Large council seat.

Ryan was one of five candidates who vied to replace former JP City Councilor John Tobin last year. He was defeated in the preliminary election, and Matt O’Malley ended up winning the District 6 seat.

Prior to that, Ryan ran in the 2009 At-Large election. He did not make it through the preliminary round of voting in that election, either.

As he did in last year’s District 6 campaign, this time around Ryan is focusing on “schools, services and safety,” he told the Gazette when asked about what he plans to campaign on.

A registered Democrat, in both of his previous campaigns Ryan espoused libertarian policies, including decriminalizing recreational drug use, and promoting market-based reforms for government services, like the Boston Public School System. During the District 6 campaign he publicly stated that he had registered as a Democrat so that he could potentially be endorsed by Democratic Ward Committees.

Ryan faces an uphill battle in this year’s election, he admitted. All four incumbents, Steve Murphy, Felix Arroyo, Ayanna Pressley and John Connolly are running for reelection. Also running is former At-Large City Councilor and 2009 Mayoral candidate Michael Flaherty.

“Lightning does strike,” Ryan said.

Flaherty, Ryan and the current incumbents are among 14 potential At-Large candidates who applied for nomination papers by the May 16 deadline. To qualify for the preliminary ballot, they would have had to return 1,500 signatures of registered voters by May 24, after the Gazette deadline.

Since no one applied for papers to oppose Matt O’Malley by the application deadline, he will not face a challenger on he ballot this year. Nor will District 8 City Councilor Mike Ross, who represents a small part of Hyde Square.

District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson, who was elected in a special election to replace former City Councilor Chuck Turner earlier this year, could face as many as eight challengers. District 7 includes part of Egleston Square.

It is also possible that other challengers could run write-in campaigns.