The ballots are set for the five city council races that merit a preliminary election in September, with 15 candidates competing for at-large and even more hopefuls across three busy district council races as the summer campaign season gets into full swing.
Preliminary elections will take place on Sept. 24 for at-large, District 5, District 7, District 8, and District 9. Including the four sitting at-large councillors running for reelection – Annissa Essaibi-George, Michael Flaherty, Althea Garrison, and Michelle Wu, the at-large ballot includes representation from most districts in the city but predominantly in the Dorchester and Mattapan-heavy Districts 3, 4, 5, and 7.
The ballot order for at-large candidates is: Erin J. Murphy, of Dorchester; Wu, of Roslindale; Priscilla E Flint-Banks, of Roslindale; Garrison, of Dorchester; Martin Keogh, of Roxbury; Alejandra St. Guillen, of West Roxbury; Michel Denis, of Hyde Park; Essaibi-George, of Dorchester; Jeffrey Michael Ross, of the South End; Domingos DaRosa, of Hyde Park; Flaherty, of South Boston; Herb Alexander Lozano, of Mattapan; William A King, of Dorchester; David Halbert, of the Dorchester/Mattapan border; and Julia Mejia of Dorchester.
Local progressive groups have hosted several panels for the district and at-large candidates, with questionnaires from each of the candidates available online. The Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council expects to hold similar panels in August, before the preliminaries, for at-large and District 5.
The race to replace councillor Tim McCarthy has drawn eight hopefuls who qualified for the District 5 ballot.
In ballot order for the district, representing parts of Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roslindale, the candidates are: Justin Matthew Murad, a Hyde Park resident and City of Boston paralegal; Cecily Leticia Graham, an organizer and elementary school lead teacher who lives in Hyde Park; Alkia T Powell, a former City Hall staffer and Hyde Park resident; Ricardo Arroyo, a Hyde Park attorney whose father, Felix D. Arroyo, and brother, Felix G. Arroyo, both served as at-large city councilors; activist Jean-Claude Sanon, of Roslindale, who is running for the seat a third time; Mimi Turchinetz, a Hyde Park advocate and attorney; and Maria Esdale Farrell, an educational advocate in Hyde Park.
Arroyo, who announced his intention to run before McCarthy bowed out, has racked up the most endorsements in the race to date. State Rep. Russell Holmes and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins are supporting him, as is the progressive political organization Right to the City Vote (RTCV).
Lenore Pereira, a RTCV member and resident of Mattapan in District 5, said in a statement that Arroyo “brings a fresh perspective on the struggles families face now, with a desire to bring a community-driven agenda to support real solutions with real families at the table.”
City Council President Campbell is facing a general election challenge from Jeff Durham in District 4, which covers mostly Dorchester and Mattapan.
Kim Janey, in District 7 representing mostly Roxbury and Dorchester, has two challengers: perennial candidate Roy Owens Sr. and the lawyer Valerie Hope Rust.
The Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Political Action Committee announced its slate of endorsements for the fall elections last, including 11 for Boston City Council.
They re-endorsed sitting councillors Campbell and Janey, as well as Lydia Edwards, who is unopposed. Along with re-endorsing Essaibi-George and Wu, the organization also announced its support for two additional at-large candidates – enough to fill the four available seats in total – in backing Alejandra St. Guillen and Julia Mejia. They did not endorse Councillor Althea Garrison.
In the crowded District 5 race, the women’s caucus endorsed Mimi Turchinetz.
“The MWPC PAC is proud to endorse this fantastic group of women who have shown their unwavering commitment to the core values held by the MWPC and who will continue to pursue them while in public office,” said Pam Berman, MWPC board president, in a statement. “We believe that if elected, these women will continue their admirable and important advocacy for women, as well as serve as an inspiration for the next generation of female candidates.
Right to the City Vote announced its choices in mid-July, including St. Guillen, Mejia, and David Halbert as its at-large endorsements.
“We are so thrilled that we came to consensus on our endorsement of Alejandra St. Guillen, David Halbert, and Julia Mejia,” said RTCV chairperson Noemi Ramos, of Dorchester, “We are proud of our endorsement because it is about the issues these candidates stand for. We hope that they will all propel to the general election with even sharper stances on critical issues and develop plans to make our platform a reality.”
The district races will be whittled down to two candidates for a general election in November, while the general at-large race will include the top eight vote getters. Along with Edwards, three other councillors are without challengers: Ed Flynn, South Boston, Frank Baker, Dorchester, and Matt O’Malley, West Roxbury.