JP political expert: Anybody could be next mayor

The race for the open Mayor’s Office will be the most competitive in decades, likely with several Jamaica Plain candidates, and is anyone’s to win, according to local political expert Larry DiCara.

“Anybody, and I underline ‘anybody,’ could be the next mayor of Boston,” said DiCara, a JP resident and former Boston City Council president who was a candidate in the famously competitive 1983 mayoral race.

“It’s an interesting race if you have a field of young minority candidates from Jamaica Plain,” said DiCara, speculating on potential candidacies by City Councilors Felix Arroyo and Tito Jackson, among others.

DiCara added that when he says “anybody” could be mayor, he is not including himself right now. “I still think about it, but will not be a candidate at this time,” he said.

DiCara noted that the current and potential candidates are all relatively unknown to voters and there is now only about six months before the preliminary election. That makes it a true free-for-all, with candidates needing only a slim slice of the voting pie to make it into the November final election, he said.

DiCara was one of six major candidates who duked it out the 1983 election eventually won by Raymond Flynn. He said this year’s race will be even more open because the city doesn’t have the depth of racial division it did then. The 1983 election is credited with helping to heal some wounds of Boston’s anti-busing wars due to the courteous debates between Flynn, a white candidate from South Boston, and Mel King, a black candidate from the South End.

This year, the Mayor’s Office could be won by someone of any race, age, gender or sexual orientation, DiCara said.

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