With 86 days to go to the September 24, 2013 Preliminary Election, the following list is the Power Rankings of Boston Mayoral Candidates as July 1, 2013. Just to note, David Portnoy, John Laing, and Robert Cappucci who had been ranked previously did not make the ballot and thus have been eliminated:
1. John R Connolly, West Roxbury (Ward 20, Precinct 10)
2. Martin J Walsh, Savin Hill (Ward 13, Precinct 10)
3. Charlotte Golar Richie, Meeting House Hill (Ward 15, Precinct 3)
4. Daniel F Conley, West Roxbury (Ward 20, Precinct 20)
5. Rob Consalvo, Hyde Park (Ward 18, Precinct 18)
6. Felix G Arroyo, Jamaica Plain (Ward 19, Precinct 7)
7. Charles L Clemons Jr Dorchester (Ward 14, Precinct 4)
8. Michael P Ross, Mission Hill (Ward 10, Precinct 5)
9. Bill Walczak, Savin Hill(Ward 13, Precinct 10)
10. Charles Calvin Yancey, Mattapan (Ward 17, Precinct 3)
11. John F Barros, Uphams Corner(Ward 13, Precinct 5)
12. David James Wyatt, Roxbury (Ward 11, Precinct 2)
ANALYSIS of MAYORAL CANDIDATE RANKINGS
1. John R Connolly, West Roxbury (Ward 20, Precinct 10) (Previous Rank #2)
John Connolly moves to the top spot. Connolly has run the most consistent grassroots campaign so far. His supporters are actively phone banking and identifying supporters and he is an extremely prolific fundraiser.
His early start before Menino decided against re-election gave him a huge advantage over his opponents because he was able to garner a lot of free media exposure at little cost. Although I believe that issues rarely help candidates win elections, Connolly has done the best to lead in this department through his heavy focus on improving the Boston Education System. When Bill Clinton lost the Arkansas Governor’s race in 1980, he came back two years later and focused on the singular issue of education which enabled him to get back into office in 1982. This issue is a good and smart choice for Connolly to focus on.
Additionally, Connolly has the strongest City-Wide presence so far with signs that can be seen in all neighborhoods including Savin Hill which is the heart of Martin Walsh’s base. However, I have yet to see Connolly door knocking teams. This could change soon.
2. Martin J Walsh, Savin Hill (Ward 13, Precinct 10) (Previous Rank #4)
Marty Walsh is running a superstar campaign and he is beginning to evolve into a true city-wide candidate. A month ago, Walsh signs and stickers were seen only in the Southeastern corner of Boston in Wards 13 and 16 specifically. However, Walsh is clearly expanding the field. He is the only Mayoral Candidate that has seemed to penetrate Southie (Wards 6 and 7). Walsh has a headquarters on West Broadway and has done a good job getting signs in storefront windows. Walsh also is strong all down Washington Avenue and is beginning to make inroads in Ward 14 along certain parts of Blue Hill Avenue. Also, Walsh has been an incredible fundraiser so far and as of right now, I have seen more Walsh 4’ X 8’ signs in key locations like the American Legion Highway than the other candidates.
Additionally, Walsh’s organization began door knocking over a month ago. If Walsh keeps building momentum as he has since he entered the race, he could be tough to beat and could end up in the finals. Walsh’s biggest threat is his neighbor Bill Walczak from strawing votes from him out of his home base in Ward 13. And this observation should not be dismissed because Walczak is out there working hard.
3. Charlotte Golar Richie, Meeting House Hill (Ward 15, Precinct 3) (Previous Rank #6)
Richie is building solid momentum. She has received important endorsements from women’s groups such as Emily’s List which will help her raise money. Additionally, she had an opportunity to have a photo op with President Obama in the South End when Obama visited Boston. Supposedly this was by chance, however Deval Patrick is Obama’s close friend and protégé. I would not be surprised if this had been planned ahead of time which makes me believe that while the Menino forces are lining up slowly behind Consalvo, Patrick’s forces are lining up behind Richie. If Richie can win the female vote decisively she could make the finals. Other signs that Richie is building momentum… In locations where many Linda Dorcena Forry 4’X 8’ special election campaign signs were, many have been replaced with blue Richie 4’ X 8’ signs like the one that at the intersection of Adams Street and Bowdoin Street near the First Parish Church in Ward 15 where Richie lives. Additionally, Richie is building some grassroots presence in Ward 16 along Dorchester Avenue and in Ward 17 along Washington Street heading towards Gallivan Blvd and Morton Street.
4. Daniel F Conley, West Roxbury (Ward 20, Precinct 20) (Previous Rank #1)
Dan Conley fell all the way from the top spot in the power rankings to 4th overall. The only thing impressive about Dan Conley’s campaign was his fundraising in the months of May and June, yet much of his money has been raised from lawyers. There are some notable names that did max out to Conley like Abraham Lincoln Biographer and Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and her husband. But the Goodwins are the perfect example that even though you may have more money and name recognition than your opponents, it does not mean you will be victorious. For example, Doris Goodwin’s son Joe ran for State Senate out of Concord, MA this past year and raised more money than God, but still lost the Democratic primary.
Because of his initial fundraising advantage, Conley is ranked this high still is because he entered the contest with $860K in the bank to start. Other than his early fundraising advantage, Dan Conley has run one of the worst campaigns I have ever seen. For instance, I have personally had two interactions on the street with Conley in the last month and he just acted like he was “going through the motions.” Conley is just not “hungry” like someone who could be the next Mayor should be.
The first was in East Boston on the Docks in Precinct 3 and Conley was heading to a party on the dock. This was right after he was receiving holy hell from City Council President Steve Murphy and lost the support of Eastie State Rep. Carlo Basile and Funeral Home Director Joe Ruggiero who organizes the Columbus Day Parade during the Even years as a result of Conley supporting a City-Wide referendum instead of a East Boston only vote to allow a casino to be built in Suffolk Downs. I was barbequing with ten voters on the dock and I saw Dan and invited him to meet these voters. He wanted nothing to do with them. Well the result was he immediately lost ten votes because these people thought he was a jerk because he did not feel it was important to talk to them.
The second interaction was on Tuesday June 24th. I was near City Hall and Conley and I happened to cross paths. We said hello and I said, “Dan, you gotta get out there and start having your organization door knock because I don’t see anything going on.” He looked at me like he was “Napoleon” and said he’s not “worried about door knocking.” I was flabbergasted. This gentleman was so overconfident I do not think he realizes there are so few homes or cars with his signs and stickers on them. The only place where I have seen Conley signs have been in Chinatown and Conley should be given credit for printing those signs in Chinese. There is an old saying that signs don’t vote and I agree with this, but signs show organization and field presence. I have seen so few supporters of Conley so far, the only one who stands out the most is former Southie State Rep. Paul Gannon who has a Conley bumper sticker on his 4X4 vehicle. But too bad for Conley, Gannon can’t vote for him because he now lives in Hingham.
Conley seems to forget that the last competitive election he won was in 2002 and that was when he defeated a man who had died before the election took place. God Bless Brian Honan’s soul. I have seen such little grassroots support for Conley that if he does not “check his attitude” not only is he going to get spanked on September 24th, but he is going to be looking very weak and extremely vulnerable if he tries to run for re-election for District Attorney in 2014. However, you can’t rule Conley out. When I saw the signs in Chinese, it was smart political advertising and it signaled that maybe he has the support of Chinatown Political Boss Frank Chin.
5. Rob Consalvo, Hyde Park (Ward 18, Precinct 18) (Previous Rank #5)
Consalvo stays at number 5 yet he has been strong and steady. Consalvo’s field operation is steadily building. Previously noted was his heavy sign and sticker presence in the extreme corners of the city in Hyde Park in the southwest and East Boston in the northeast. Consalvo stickers and signs are now starting to pop more and more in Mattapan and also Dorchester. Because of his strong grassroots presence so far and his ability to have raised two times the amount of money that Arroyo Jr has raised, Consalvo moves past Arroyo in the power rankings. It was noted previously that Menino forces seem to be coalescing behind Consalvo. If my assumption is correct, two divisions are taking place amongst those in Menino’s camp and those in Governor Patrick’s camp coalescing behind Charlotte Golar Richie.
6. Felix G Arroyo, Jamaica Plain (Ward 19, Precinct 7) (Previous Rank #3)
I have been very surprised with how little activity I have seen by Felix Arroyo. Other than through twitter postings and pictures, Arroyo seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. I have seen very little presence by Arroyo except for a 4’ X 8’ sign located on Columbia Road on the fence of an auto body shop near the Quincy Street Intersection and I happened to see another window sign on Bowdoin Street. Obviously one area where there seems to be some presence by Arroyo is in Jamaica Plain especially on Washington Street before the road turns into Hyde Park Avenue. And Arroyo does have a Campaign Headquarters in Jamaica Plain at the Green Street and Washington Street intersection, yet, I believe that if Arroyo does not pick up his grassroots activities he won’t make the finals. Arroyo’s strength is certainly not his fundraising, but instead the grassroots organization that his father built, but the problem in this election, voters can only pick one candidate not four. Arroyo needs a monolithic vote from the Hispanic community to put him in the finals. If not, then Felix faces early retirement from politics.
7. Charles L Clemons Jr Dorchester (Ward 14, Precinct 4) (Previous Rank #9)
Clemons is rising and has room to grow and here’s why. His opponents are totally underestimating him. He has a huge base of listeners who tune in everyday to listen to his radio station. Many elected officials including Tito Jackson, Charles Yancey, Ayanna Pressley, Sonia Chang Diaz, Carlos Henriquez, and many others regularly appear on the morning show to discuss the issues facing everyone in Boston. Also, Clemons has signs all over Grove Hall where his presence dominates. Lastly, on Saturday June 22nd, Clemons was endorsed by Louis Farrakhan at the Strand Theater in Uphams Corner. And like Marty Walsh about a month earlier, Clemons drew at least a thousand supporters. If Clemons continues to climb and expand his base, he may the next Mel King.
8. Michael P Ross, Mission Hill (Ward 10, Precinct 5) (Previous Rank #8)
Michael Ross is raising a lot of money, but I have seen little grassroots support. Other than John Nucci writing about how Ross is raising a lot of his money from the technology industry, I have seen nothing else. I did come across numerous Michael Ross for Mayor posters in a commercial space across from Broadway T Stop off the Redline in Southie. So this may be a location for a Ross Headquarters. And I also noticed some Michael Ross signage through Mission Hill where Ross represents. Ross would have had a better chance if he did not quit the 4th Congressional Race when Joe Kennedy entered. Ross should have fought Kennedy to the finish and he could have won the democratic primary fighting basically a one on one match-up (Herb Robinson and Rachel Brown were non-factors in that primary). With so much talent running in the Mayoral race, Ross is forgotten man. Ross needs a monolithic vote from District 8 and a large chunk of the progressive vote to make the finals. If Ross does, he could make the finals and follow Eric Garcetti footsteps who became Los Angeles’ first Jewish Mayor by becoming Boston’s first Jewish Mayor.
9. Bill Walczak, Savin Hill(Ward 13, Precinct 10) (Previous Rank #11)
Walczak is working hard and he is an impressive candidate. He has strong credentials as a business leader. Too bad Walcziak did not run for City Councilor At-Large because he would have been a strong candidate. Additionally, Walczak lost his campaign manager Rubin Cantor who could not handle the job. It’s a shame that Cantor quit and it makes me believe that he must have been overrated as an organizer. Cantor boasted that he was a strong leader who helped organize Boston for Deval Patrick in 2006 and then helped Ayanna Pressley win in 2009 as an At-Large City Councilor, however Cantor really dropped the ball by signing g on to lead Walczak and then quit because of reasons such as having a hard time campaigning and taking final exams at Harvard. His lack of commitment leads me to believe that if I was looking for a campaign manager in the future, I know who I would I not look to hire and that’s Rubin Cantor.
Long-time Savin Hill Leader Donnie Walsh who also was formerly the President of the local Civic Association in Savin Hill has stepped in to replace Cantor as Walcziak’s campaign manager. The fact that Walsh, an influential local is now leading Walczak’s effort shows again that Marty Walsh does not have monolithic support from his home base. However, due to the field being so deep it will hard for Walczak to build momentum to move into the top tier. Yet you never know because two weeks ago on a hot late Sunday afternoon, I happened to drive up to a stop light on Morrissey Blvd and Walcziak was in a station wagon with two other campaign supporters and I said hello, Walcziak was very enthusiastic and it was obvious that he had a good day on the campaign trail. Walczak’s signs and stickers are starting to pop up more and more especially in Savin Hill. Walczak may not win this election but if he finishes impressively he should consider running again for Mayor in four years or for another office. If Walsh wins Mayor, Walczak would be a top contender for Walsh’s seat in the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. Walczak has the right attitude and it is apparent in the service he has done previously for the public, he cares for people which is strength for him.
10. Charles Calvin Yancey, Mattapan (Ward 17, Precinct 3) (Previous Rank #7)
Yancey was smart for getting both his signatures to run for both Mayor and City Council because if he loses Mayor he could still be on the Council next year if he wins re-election. However, some voters in his district may be bitter and feel that Yancey should have picked one office to run for or the other. At one time, Yancey was nearly defeated by Ego Eyed for his city council seat. If goes on to lose Mayor and he makes the finals for his District City Council seat, he may face some backlash by his constituents and it could be close in November for Yancey. It all depends if his constituents think he is being to power hungry. Other side notes, I did see Yancey driving down Morrissey Blvd so he’s definitely trying to expand his base outside his district and his wife was out hardcore campaigning for him in Codman Square near the Dorchester District Court House on June 26, 2013 going store to store and with success convincing store owners to put up Charles Yancey for Mayor signs in their store windows.
11. John F Barros, Uphams Corner(Ward 13, Precinct 5) (Previous Rank #10)
On June 25th while driving down Dudley Street after turning from Hampton Street I came up behind a 4 X 4 vehicle with John Barros for Mayor Decal and insignias all over it. It looked like the vehicle was being driven by his mother or a close relative. Barros is running for office for the first time. He has raised some money and along Dorchester Avenue, there are some stores who are openly promoting Barros by passing out his literature on behalf of him. Other than this, I have not seen much from Barros on the campaign trail minus obviously his participation in the forums so far.
12. David James Wyatt, Roxbury (Ward 11, Precinct 2) (Previous Rank #15)
Wyatt will continue to sit at the bottom of the power rankings. As mentioned previously, Wyatt finished behind Marty Hogan in the 2007 At-Large City Council race. Therefore he does not have a strong voter base. One point to note, it is believed that Wyatt is the only Pro-Life Candidate in the field. Will this help him in a non-partisan Mayoral race? Probably not. However, the fact that he made ballot over the likes of individuals such as David Portnoy who has over 100,000 twitter followers and unbelievable fundraising abilities is very impressive.