Q & A, #1

Getting to a couple of questions posed over the weekend in response to my Friday call for questions. First, Curious Constituent asks:
If Menino and Flaherty square off in '09, who runs for the open council seat?
It's an interesting, if early, query. I don't have much of an answer, but I'd suggest several pools from which contenders may emerge.
--Returners. There are two notable former at-large councilors who could try to come back. Felix Arroyo, who finished fifth (for the four spots) last year, is a likely possibility. The other is Maura Hennigan, who left the council in 2005 to run for mayor. I suspect she is unlikely to want to leave her new position as Suffolk criminal clerk.
--Former at-large candidates. There were no other major contenders from last year, but some previous candidates could try again. Matt O'Malley is certainly one. Ed Flynn, who also tried and failed at the South Boston/South End district seat, is another. Greg Timilty, who ran in 1999 (at age 24), would figure to be a strong possibility.
--Stepping-up councilors. At least four district councilors could see the at-large seat as a way to expand their voter base and gravitas for the future: Rob Consalvo of Hyde Park, Maureen Feeney of Dorchester, Mike Ross of Mission Hill, and John Tobin of West Roxbury. They would have to give up easy re-election in their districts to take the chance, but I could easily imagine one of them going for it. As a bonus, with Flaherty out the distinction of top vote-getter among councilors is wide-open for one of these four to take.
--Other former candidates. Losing district candidates include Susan Passoni (twice), Tim Schofield and Greg Glennon (who both also lost a state rep race), Carlos Henriquez, Rosie Hanlon, Gibran Rivera, and Ego Ezedi. Failed candidates for state legislature (in addition to Schofield and Glennon) include Gloribell Mota, Jeff Drago, Stacey Monahan, Samiyah Diaz, William Celester, and Sonia Chang-Diaz (currently running for the second time against Dianne Wilkerson).
--First-timers. These could be established, well-known names (Bruce Wall, who considered running last year, jumps to mind); political aides ready to make their first run; or political newcomers.

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