Team Unity Is Dead; Long Live The Young Turks

Congratulations to John Connolly for an impressive and hard-earned victory yesterday, and also to Mark Ciommo who overcame a spirited challenge from Gregory Glennon to win the Allston-Brighton seat. My thoughts:

--Sadly, I must now retired one of my favorite tired tropes: that offspring of Irish politicians can't get elected in this town. I hate when I lose one of my comfortable, simplistic prisms through which to process the complex dynamics of politics.

--Why yes, I did write way back in April that "Felix Arroyo may be the most vulnerable at-large incumbent this coming November," thanks for remembering! I certainly haven't been rooting against him, but the signs have been there all year. BTW, both Steve Murphy and John Connolly had nothing but nice things to say about Arroyo last night.

--A big loser yesterday was Chuck Turner, despite his mammoth crushing of poor, ignored Carlos Henriquez. Turner's influence inside City Hall was probably at its peak this year, as he exerted control over the four-member Team Unity (Turner, Arroyo, Charles Yancey, and Sam Yoon) that, among other things, helped put Maureen Feeney into the council presidency. But with Arroyo gone , and no evidence that Turner and Yancey can provide big chunks of votes, it's hard to imagine that Yoon will stay with the Team. And a two-person Team Unity is just Chuck and Charles being Chuck and Charles.

--It would be easy to lament what looks like a backsliding in city politics to the old days of white Irish and Italian men, what with the addition this year of Salvatore Lamattina, Bill Linehan, John Connolly, and Mark Ciommo; and the failures of Felix Arroyo, Susan Passoni, and Tim Schofield. But I see this as a continuation of the Young Turks movement that is really what New Boston is all about. Truth is, Sam Yoon fits right in with Connolly, Ciommo, Mike Ross, Rob Consalvo, John Tobin, Michael Flaherty... pretty much all of them. There are no more reactionary Kellys and Dappers to be elected in the city anymore; there are only degrees of progressivism. I'm as discouraged by the shrinking number of minority and female city councilors as anyone, but I'll go along with what Connolly told me last night: "I hope we're moving toward a Boston that's about making sure that people from every walk of life can have improving schools, and safe streets -- and their elected leaders can come from any walk of life."

--Another winner yesterday was John Tobin, who was unopposed this year after facing a challenge from a sharp, progressive Latino Gebron Rivera two years ago. Tobin surely didn't want to look, again, like White West Roxbury's candidate against the rising Hispanic JP tide. (Yes, folks, I still have plenty of comfortable, simplistic prisms left!) Tobin also backed, and stood by, Connolly, gaining himself a new ally on the council. But most importantly, Tobin's district voted in huge numbers, even without a contested district race, apparently far out-polling even Consalvo's vote-rich district and the hotly contested A-B race. That's evidence of a very strong base should young Tobin set his sights on higher office....

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