Boston Voters To Narrow Mayoral Field From 12 To 203:45

This article is more than 7 years old.

In the city's first open mayoral race in 20 years, 12 candidates are vying for the two spots on the final November ballot in Tuesday's preliminary election.

The campaigns say Election Day is all about making sure their supporters get to the polls.

At-Large City Councilor John Connolly won't say exactly how many supporters his campaign has identified, but he predicts a close election.

"I'll bet you it'll be just a few thousand votes that separates the top seven or eight candidates," Connolly said. "And you could see a few hundred votes separating first and third."

But third place means out of contention for the final election in November.

If organization matters, Charlotte Golar Richie is counting on a surge of enthusiasm for the possibility of electing Boston's first woman mayor and its first African-American mayor. A recent WBUR poll put her in third place. She spent Monday afternoon greeting commuters in Dudley Square.

Makeysha Montgomery, 29, who lives in Grove Hall, supports Golar Richie.

"I like the fact that she's out here in the community and she's here at Dudley Station and she's visible," Montgomery said. "I think she's a great role model. She kind of puts me in the mind of Michelle Obama, in a way. So it would be really nice for Boston have their first African-American female as mayor. I think that would be a very historic thing."

But Golar Riche is running against some very well-organized candidates, perhaps none so much as state legislator and former leader of the Building Trades union, Marty Walsh.

Union leaders resent the fact that The Boston Globe editorial board, in endorsing Connolly and John Barros, said Walsh "tied his hands in making himself the standard bearer of organized labor." Hundreds of people, union members and others, turned out for a rally Monday night at the Savin Hill ball fields, where Walsh first coached Little League, and near his home. Standing on the back of a pickup truck, Walsh looked ahead as he predicted victory.

"When we're campaigning on Wednesday, we're going to be talking about the issues that are important to our city," Walsh said. "We're going to be talking about crime and making sure we get the guns off the street. We're going to be talking about education, economic development, women's rights, equal rights, every type of right that's out there."

Whether it's the signs for Marty Walsh at the rally last night, or the signs for the panoply of candidates that seem to be in every front yard in every neighborhood in the city, the signs are that there is great interest in this election.

This program aired on September 24, 2013.

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