Q, w/ A -- City Council

 "Rick Ross" asks:

If [Michael] Flaherty runs [for mayor], then a seat is vacant at large. With [Felix] Arroyo gone do you see any new or old progressive candidates capable stepping into the race? What about the district seats, do you think those are static?

Lastly, if Menino wins again will he bow out mid-way Flynn style and leave the office to the President?

I increasingly sense that the 2009 at-large city council race will include several significant challengers, regardless of what Flaherty does. Felix Arroyo Jr. is said to be seriously considering a run, and there are rumors of other interested Hispanics -- in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Arroyo starts raising money well before the end of this year, to dissuade other Latinos from jumping in. I would be surprised if there is not at least one serious black candidate. (Bruce Wall is one likely suspect, but there are others.) If Flaherty is out, you've got to figure one or two from Southie will try to seize his votes. Plus, maybe I'm crazy, but don't you think maybe a woman see an opportunity?

I don't see any obvious vulnerabilities in the districts, or hear any rumors of anyone not running for re-election -- but it's still early.

Menino leaving mid-term is always a possibility, although probably only for health reasons -- any hopes of a federal appointment ended with Hillary Clinton's concession. Maureen Feeney will not run for another term as President, I am told by good sources, so we'll have quite the interesting battle coming up. You can bet John Tobin will try for it, but my guess is it goes to a compromise choice -- one of the non-threatening district councilors.

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