Winner:Guy whose picture I didn't happen to take at the Roslindale Day Parade:John Connolly
Steve Murphy proved tonight he's the Model T of elected officials: He can get elected to anything as long as it's an at-large seat on the Boston city council. He came in second tonight, giving him one of the four at-large seats on the city council.
Felix Arroyo, meanwhile, proved that, on a rainy day, when not even 14% of registered voters show up, organization DOES matter, as in: If you don't have much of one, you're going to wonder what the hell happened.
And what the hell happened tonight was that John Connolly, who had an incredibly organized get-out-the-vote effort, especially in his home base of Roslindale and West Roxbury, simply got more votes than Arroyo (who came in second two years ago, which led to a brief Arroyo-for-mayor boomlet). If the flap over Connolly's anonymous anti-Murphy mailings had an impact, in the end, it didn't matter (except to possibly give Steve Murphy some sympathy votes).
Of course, above everybody else sits, again, Michael Flaherty. Not really a surprise there, and you know he already has people thinking what colors to use on the "Flaherty for Mayor" signs. The only question is whether he dares to take on Tom Menino in two years or waits until 2013 - when, who knows, maybe he'll be facing Sam Yoon, who also got re-elected tonight.
Of course, the big question is what this all means for actual policy making in Boston. Granted, we have a "weak" city council, which makes it hard for them to actually get anything done, but they do have the power to hold hearings and get to vote on the mayor's budget, so it'll be interesting to read in the GateHouse and college papers what happens (since we obviously can forget about the Globe and Herald writing much of anything about the council).
In other races:
Mark Ciommo beat Gregory Glennon to win the Allston/Brighton district council race by a roughly 60/40 margin (props to Michael Pahre for calling that margin). He takes over for Jerry McDermott, who moved out of town.
In Dorchester, Maureen Feeney easily maintained her position as the only woman on the council, swamping Michael Cote.
Charles Yancey did even better against J.R. Rucker in his Dorchester/Mattapan district.
It was Chuck Turner over Carlos Henriquez in Roxbury in another trouncing.
All other district races were uncontested.
Vote numbers from the city elections department.