BoMag and Michael Flaherty

Boston magazine's Joe Keohane appears to have gotten his wish this year: a mayor's race. And a four-way mayor's race, at that.

(In a June 2008 column for the magazine, he described himself as "inconsolable" after former Suffolk County DA Ralph Martin announced he would not be running for mayor.)

In this month's issue, Keohane -- the magazine's top writer, if not the city's -- checks in with a 1,700-word profile of mayoral candidate and City Councillor At-Large Michael Flaherty:

Michael Flaherty is finally running for mayor, and the path before him is littered with carrion. Peggy Davis-Mullen and Maura Hennigan, both longtime city councilors, mounted campaigns against Tom Menino in the past two elections—and were effortlessly crushed by the mayor's machine. The Southie-based Flaherty, on the other hand, represents the first real challenge Menino has faced in 16 years. Compared with past opponents, he's got more money, a higher citywide profile, a pro-grade platform, substantial union support, and, more important, he really wants it. "You've got to give the son of a bitch his due," says one local politico, who requested anonymity because he wants to stay on good terms with both Flaherty and Menino. "If he loses, at least he loses a job he really wanted to run for."

Also, check out Keohane's chronicle of Menino's rise to City Hall, if you haven't already.