Perennial candidate Althea Garrison, who has run pretty much every year since the 1960s for city council, state representative or state senator - all but once without success - will finally get back into office after Ayanna Pressley goes to Washington on Jan. 1.
But first, she's still running for state representative in the 5th Suffolk (Roxbury, Dorchester) state representative's race, as an independent against Liz Miranda, who won yesterday's Democratic primary.
Garrison, 78, will become an at-large city councilor because she came in fifth in the 2017 elections. The city charter specifies that whoever comes in fifth will become a city councilor should one of the four incumbents leave office. Garrison will serve to at least the end of Pressley's two-year term, which ends on Dec. 31, 2019. That's how Steve Murphy first got onto the council in 1997.
Garrison was elected as a Republican to the state House in 1993 after years of running for various offices, by knocking incumbent Nelson Merced off the ballot through a successful challenge to his nomination signatures. She lost her re-election bid after the Herald outed her as a trans person.
Over the years, Garrison has run annually - along with former state Rep. Roy Owens - sometimes as a Republican, sometimes as a Democrat, and sometimes, as this year, as an independent. Earlier this year, she lost a bid as a Democrat for the state senate seat that Linda Dorcena Forrey vacated.
Garrison will bring a conservative viewpoint to the council - she has opposed both abortion rights and same-sex marriage. But on more locally specific issues, during a council debate last year, she called for a moratorium on conversion of small apartment buildings to condos and a return to rent control. And she said local colleges either need to do more to help educate Boston kids or start paying taxes.