While many of us were following breaking developments regarding Senator Wilkerson's finances this past weekend, the Boston Phoenix published a nice state-of-the 2nd Suffolk Senate race overview in its current edition.
Full disclosure: I recently posted an endorsement of Sonia Chang-Diaz in this race.
Some interesting take-aways from the story:
Following Chang-Díaz as she canvasses in Jamaica Plain and the Fort Hill neighborhood of Roxbury, it’s easy to start believing that Wilkerson is winding down her final days in office. “Anyone running against Dianne Wilkerson is all right by me,” one school teacher told Chang-Díaz. Then a city worker: “I just can’t pull a lever for [Wilkerson].” A black mother: “I’m not a big fan of your opponent — some people get into office and lose sight of why they are there.” A middle-aged woman: “You’ve got my vote . . . I just want some change, something other than publicity all the time that’s negative.”
Wilkerson won by more than 1500 votes in Ward 12, countering Chang-Díaz’s 1100-vote margin in Ward 19, which includes Jamaica Plain and Roslindale. Several political observers say that, this year, without Patrick on the ballot, Roxbury’s numbers will probably fall off more sharply than JP’s, meaning it will cost Wilkerson more votes than Chang-Díaz.
However, Chang-Díaz also has solid minority credentials: though her mother is white, her father is of mixed Hispanic and Asian ancestry. In fact, while Chang-Díaz may be trying to oust the state’s only black senator, she would in turn become the first Latina ever to serve in the State Senate.