The race to succeed Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh as the 13th Suffolk District State Representative has begun. Boston Police Officer Tony Dang, a Big-Time organizer for Marty Walsh in both the Vietnamese Communities and all of Dorchester in Walsh's triumphant candidacy to become Boston's Mayor succeeding Tom Menino, has entered the race.
Dang, 32, will face Dan Hunt whose father and brother both ran for the State Rep seat. His father Jim Sr. losing to Jim Brett and his brother Jim Jr. losing to Walsh in a close battle in 1997. Both candidates reside out of the heart of Ward 16: Dang from Precinct 6 and Hunt from Precinct 9.
The 13th Suffolk State Rep District is made up of Boston Ward 7 Precinct 9; Ward 13 Precincts 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10; Ward 15 Precinct 6; Ward 16 Precinct 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12; Ward 17 Precincts 3 and 5; and one precinct in North Quincy over the Neponset River.
Other rumored candidates are Annissa Essaibi-George who lives north of Columbia Road in the Polish Triangle. Essaibi-George finished a strong 5th as Boston City Council Finalist in the recent City Council At Large race plus she is from the Northern side of the District while Dang and Hunt are from the southern end.
The district is highly diverse with a strong Vietnamese population in all precincts of this district. If Dang can mobilize this large Vietnamese voting population he would become the first Vietnamese State Rep from the 13th Suffolk.
Other strong potential heavyweights include 2011 City Council Finalist from District 3 John O'Toole of Minot Street and Cedar Grove Civic Association President Sean Weir. One heavyweight who will not be a candidate is former mayoral candidate Bill Walzcak who said this on Wednesday night at the Public Health Town Hall meeting at English High School.
The seat will be vacated and a special election will take place within 145-160 days after Mayor-Elect Martin Walsh is inaugurated on January 6, 2014.