Q&A #13 -- Race Card?

"Josh D." asks:

Do you believe any of the City Councilor At-Large Candidates have used race to promote their candidacy?  Do you think that is an acceptable campaign strategy?

Yes they have. I know that Ayanna Pressley, for example, frequently cites the fact that she would be the first minority woman on the council. Tomas Gonzalez notes in his bio that he was one of the highest-ranking Latinos in the Menino administration. Hiep Nguyen talks about what his experience as an immigrant adds to what he would bring to the council.

Nothing wrong with any of that. I mean, facts is facts.

I'm sure that a number of them have gotten even more personal, and political, about their race when talking with voters. And why not? It's part of who they are, and that's the product they're selling.

I'm not aware of any of them inserting race more cynically than that, in ways that would approach or go over the line; but I wouldn't be shocked if it happens. It's more likely to happen through operatives, not the candidates.

It may be most likely to happen between minority candidates. Ego Ezedi, when he ran against Charles Yancey in 2005, got pegged as the white man's candidate. I can imagine innuendo that one or another of the black candidates doesn't really represent the community, or whatever.

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