Boston residents vote for new City Councilor

BIANCA VAZQUEZ TONESS: Political watchers sum up the race to represent Boston's District 2 this way.

LARRY DICARA: There is Passoni and then there is the South Boston candidates.

TONESS: Larry Dicara is a former City Council president and still watches Boston's political theater.

DICARA: And I anticipate Susan Passoni,
who's the only candidate not from South Boston and who received 41 percent as I recall in the last election will probably make it into the final.

TONESS: Dicara says Passoni has name recognition since she ran against Jimmy Kelly in 2005 and will get a good number of votes outside South Boston. But Dicara says there's not much difference between Passoni — a former financial analyst from the South End — and the rest of the candidates.

DICARA: Nearly everyone in this race is a center-left Democrat. And there is no Repubican in this contest. With a few exceptions, they probably all agree on all the major issues.The real question is if you have a problem who will call you right back.

TONESS: Dicara says the race will come down to personality and identity.

(sound of men talking on the street)

SUSAN PASSONI: Hi there, how are you? I'm susan passoni"

TONESS: Susan Passoni's mainly been sharing her personality with South Boston residents for the last two weeks. That's because half of the district's voters live in Southie.

As she walked door to door recently, many residents — such as these men — recognized her for her short silver hair.

PASSONI: How do you think?

FIRST MAN: You gotta reach the people, that's how it's done.

SECOND MAN: You know something? The word on the street is that there are a lot of bodies running against you
but you hold as much weight as they do, I'll tell you the truth.

PASSONI: Thank you, I appreciate that.

TONESS: Who do you plan to vote for?

SECOND MAN: Who do I plan to vote for?
Well, I'm from Southie. What do you think?

TONESS: These men didn't want to broadcast their names for fear of retribution for encouraging a non-Southie candidate. They don't want to anger any of the six Southie
residents on the ticket.

A few of those candidates already have ties to hub politics. Bill Linehan, for example, has run for City Council before, used to work at City Hall and is considered Mayor Tom Menino's man in the race. Ed Flynn is the son of former Mayor, Ray Flynn.

Bob O'Shea has Jimmy Kelly's brother working on his campaign and is invoking the late councilor's spirit with his campaign motto: He'll continue the fight.

The rest of the candidates are trying to distinguish themselves in other ways.

Brian Mahoney touts his record as a former Boston cop and war veteran. A picture of him in the window of his campaign headquarters shows him during his Army days holding an AK-7 on his back.

Mary Cooney calls herself the most neighborhood-centric of the group. But locals say she's from Roslindale, even though she's lived in Southie for 25 years.

Bob Ferrara is appealing to parents since he's created several youth sports teams in the neighborhood.

With so many candidates and predicted low voter turnout,
former council president Larry Dicara says tomorrow's outcome will likely come down to dozens of votes.

This program aired on April 16, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.


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