My early thoughts on today's Boston preliminary election results:
--Winner: Once and future Mayor Thomas M. Menino. I wrote that he wanted to get above 50%. It didn't look like he was going to make it. But damned if he didn't pull it off, just barely. A very impressive victory showing off a very, very impressive vote-pulling operation.
--Winner: Sam Yoon... for 2012, that is. By coming within a stone's throw of Flaherty he lost well. He is now unshackled from the city council, and can spend the next few years doing something of actual use to the city. Then, if Menino calls it quits after winning one more term, Yoon is in perfect position to lead the scrum to succeed him.
--Winner: John Connolly, topping the ticket by a wide margin in the prelim. Sets up a potential 2012 Connolly/Yoon mayoral final. Unfortunately for Connolly, he may have just put a massive bulls-eye on the back, and handed out darts to Menino and his fellow ambitious councilors.
--Winner: Felix Arroyo. He ran a smart campaign that innoculated him against poor turnout in his progressive base. Very impressive. I still say he's the target for the candidates trying to move up to the top four in the final. What, they're going to go after the only African-American and only woman in the top four? But his wide margin over the field will make it tough to knock him out.
--Winner: Chuck Turner. Won over 50% of the vote, to beat Carlos Henriquez solidly. Perhaps that will change in the final, but it sure looks like City Hall will still have to deal with Chuck.
--Temporary Winner: Doug Bennett. Congratulations to Bennett for getting onto the final ballot. Now, however, people are going to stop putting up with you nicely, and will begin scrutinizing you harshly.
--Loser: The major dailies. The Globe and Herald both endorsed Ego Ezedi and Robert Fortes -- who finished 9th and 13th respectively. Might have helped if the endorsements had come in time for the recipients to use them effectively. In any event, it sure doesn't look like Bostonians are taking their cues from newsprint.
--Loser: Black candidates. Boston voted for a black President, and a black Governor, but apparently a black city councilor is where they draw the line. We haven't had a black at-large councilor since 1993, and for a while it was looking like there wouldn't be one in the top four today. Ayanna Pressley got the last spot over Andrew Kenneally; we'll see if that holds up in the final.
--Loser: Me. It appears that I may have been mistaken in my prediction that Ego Ezedi would win a council seat.