Q&A #11: At-Large Council Race

Back to your questions! (And please keep them coming!)

"Watcher" asks:

who do you see winning in this at large council election this year in what order and why? Also do you think their is an undeclared who could easily step into a top 4 spot?

First off, there is plenty of time for more candidates to get into the race, and I fully expect the field to widen once Yoon and Flaherty declare for mayor.

If the field was exactly as it appears now -- that is, the four incumbents and the declared challengers -- I think Michael Flaherty keeps the top spot, Sam Yoon moves back up to #2, Steve Murphy takes #3, and John Connolly finishes fourth again. I don't think any of the others can dislodge any of the four -- even if Connolly's father, highlighted in today's Herald, becomes an even bigger problem for him.

But I assume that at least one and probably two spots will be open, with Flaherty and Yoon seeking higher office. And bear in mind that if that happens, then we will have a high-profile mayoral race, which means a much, much bigger turnout than normal for recent city elections -- in both the preliminary and the final. And that greatly affects the at-large council voting.

It will favor name recognition and money more than usual; the younger professional vote, the minority vote, and the progressive vote will count more than usual; the municipal employee vote, and the elderly vote -- that dominate typical low-turnout city elections -- will count less than usual.

There are several serious challengers declared now, several of whom could emerge to take one of those two open seats, if the field remained as it is now. But it won't.

Anyway, to actually provide an A to your Q, I would predict as of now that the four at-large winners will be Connolly, Murphy, and two people who have not yet declared their candidacies.

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