Pulling Papers In Boston

Yesterday was the first day for "making application for nomination papers," as the Boston Elections Department puts it. Candidates can 'make application' as late as May 12 -- but signatures are due by May 19, so let's not be waiting until the last minute, Ayanna!

At-large candidates need 1500 certified signatures, a figure that was raised this year in what some -- not me! -- might call the Steve Murphy Incumbency Protection Act II. SMIP Act I -- according to these mean, petty people -- was the cancelling of the preliminary election two years ago. I, of course, love everybody, and would never say or imply such a thing.

Anyway, 1500 is a lot of John Hancocks -- and of course you need more than that, to account for any deemed unkosher. Gathering that many signatures requires time, people, and organization -- which, lets face it, if you don't have, you're screwed anyway, so it's not really that unfair as an entrance requirement.

Mayoral candidates still need 3000. District council candidates need far fewer.

In the initial rush to sign up, here's what I have to report:

--Gareth Saunders, who I told you was seriously considering a mayoral campaign, pulled papers for it. So did Flaherty, Yoon, McCrea, and five others: William Feegbeh, Gary Finneran, John Hanney, William Theodore Leonard, and Joseph Wiley. No sign of Mayor McChicken yet.

--Kevin McCrea pulled papers for both mayor and city council at-large. I spoke with him yesterday about it, and he says he's keeping his options open, and will be meeting with his team this weekend to discuss options. He believes the law allows him to run for both, if he chooses to do so.

--Of the 12 candidates I have previously identified as running, nine pulled papers on the first day, the other three today.

--We have our first female at-large candidate: Natalie Carithers of Dorchester. Carithers, who ran for council in 1991, works for state representative Willie Mae Allen.

--Four others took out papers for at-large. The only one I know much about is Peter Lin-Marcus, who is a political organizer. Jaha Hughes failed to get on the ballot trying to run against Charles Yancey in 2005; Sean Ryan of Jamaica Plain is a Ron Paul activist new to Boston [Update: Ryan informs me that, although he spent three years in Cleveland, he was born and raised in Jamaica Plain. My bad!]; and Francisco Trilla is a JP doctor who failed to get on the ballot in an attempt to run for state representative against Liz Malia in 2004.

--You'll be glad to know that Althea Garrison is not sitting this one out: she's back in against Chuck Turner in District 7. David James Wyatt, who ran previously at-large, also signed up for that race -- but no sign yet of Carlos Henriquez.

--Shaun O. Harrison, a Dorchester minister who had been rumored to be looking at a run against Charles Yancey in District 4, seems to have decided in the affirmative. Christian Kulikoski of the North End signed up for District 1, against Sal LaMattina. So far, that's it for the district challenges.

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