In Final Days, Mayoral Candidates Campaign Across Boston

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The candidates for mayor of Boston campaign for one more day before Tuesday's election cuts the field of 12 to two.

State Rep. Marty Walsh summed up what these last days are all about.

"It's all about voter contact," he said. "There's not much you can do now other than making sure that your vote gets out to vote at the polls, and we're geared up for that and we're ready to go."

The final days of a campaign are supposed to be about making sure your base turns out, and in a sense that's what the candidates were doing this weekend.

Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley's weekend began in West Roxbury, at the annual dinner to benefit the People in Neighborhoods Can Help Foundation, or P.I.N.C.H.

"Feel good about the race, you know, momentum is building," Conley said. "I'm happy for the coming Election Day and hopefully it'll be a real affirmation. Looking forward to the voters sending me on."

Saturday morning found City Councilor John Connolly at the Unity Sports Club in Codman Square, asking the members of the Caribbean-American Political Action Committee for their support.

"Thank you for everything today," Connolly told the small group. "Thanks for going out today, I appreciate it."

Shirley Shillingford, the group's president, said she supports Connolly because he is honest.

"If he cannot do something for you, he tells you straight out that he's unable to," Shillingford said. "Because I went to him with another problem with the school department and he said, 'I'm not popular with them, so it might not benefit you.' "

Connolly has promised a radical decentralization of the schools to give principals more autonomy. He is counting on a well-organized get-out-the-vote operation Tuesday to get him to the final round.

"We've got a great field organization," Connolly said. "We've raised a lot of money, but none of that happens without the right message and this is about transforming our schools. That's what I think this race has been about."


Connolly lives in West Roxbury, but a WBUR poll found that he is the only candidate with double-digit support in every part of the city.

"I don't put a whole lot of stock in the polling numbers, but if there's one piece that I really like seeing it's that I have a breadth of support across all neighborhoods," Connolly said.

If Tuesday's election is about citywide support, it's also about which neighborhoods turn out. For that reason, City Councilor Frank Baker, a Walsh supporter, predicted his candidate will be one of two winners Tuesday.

"I see it as Marty Walsh and John Connolly in the final," Baker said. "The primary is going to be about base and ground game, and I see those two with the best organization."

By Saturday afternoon, Connolly, Conley and Walsh had made their way to a block party on Glide Street in Dorchester. A WBUR poll found Walsh has deep support in Dorchester, and that was echoed by many people in attendance, including Steve Guerard.

"He's for the working person and that's what I'm all about as well," Guerard said.

Sunday morning, former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie was looking for support at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church on Humboldt Avenue.

"I am praying that the right outcome will occur on Tuesday, and should that right outcome be about Charlotte Golar Richie being the next mayor, then I'm going to be praying for strength," Golar Richie said.

Golar Richie told the congregation she knows what she has to focus on if she makes it to the final round and is elected in November.

"It's an issue around what we're doing with our young people, how we're going to address violence in our streets," Golar Richie said. "I will not be able to come back to this church and hold my head up high if I do not tackle those issues."

The church's pastor, Miniard Culpepper, has endorsed Golar Richie. He could not do so from the pulpit, but he could remind the congregation of the importance of their vote.

"We ought not ever let an opportunity pass to cast a ballot for those who died that we might have the right to vote, that bled when they had dogs sicked on them and water hoses just for your right to vote," Culpepper said.

This program aired on September 23, 2013.

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Fred Thys Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.



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