Connolly Announces for Boston City Council

Speaking to what looked to be some 100 supporters at the Sons of Italy Hall in Roslindale, John Connolly announced his second run for at-large city councillor in Boston. Connolly came in as the fifth leading vote-getter in 2005 (four others made it), leaving him a hair short of joining the council.

Connolly is running for the council with a fancy resume: he’s an an associate at the law firm of Hanify & King and a graduate of Harvard College and Boston College Law School. Having said that, he’s seems to be planning the kind of nuts-and-bolts campaign required to make a serious run for the city council. Council elections — particularly those when the Mayor is not up for election — turn on organization. Connolly is clearly planning to take advantage of his base in West Roxbury/Roslindale, known in local parlance as “the Parkway” for its proximity to the VFW and (I believe) the West Roxbury Parkways. During the last election, Connolly faced competition from Patricia White and Matt O’Malley, both with roots in the area. This time around, White has moved out of the city, and Connolly has won the endorsement of O’Malley, who was on hand at tonight’s announcement.

He targeted his talk at winning the support of area voters. “I believe in these Parkway neighborhoods,” he said, going on to reference John Tobin, the district city councillor in West Roxbury, who was also present at the announcement. “I want to give John Tobin a second voice on the council.” He went on to invoke Tobin’s name at least another 7 times.

Suffolk County Clerk Maura Hennigan, a one-time at-large city councillor and candidate for mayor, was in attendance as was Boston Herald columnist Wayne Woodlief. Roslindale’s doggedly responsive city councillor, Robert Consalvo, was not present.

Connolly described his goal for the city council. “The city council can become a more articulate and more independent voice for the neighborhoods,” Connolly said. Connolly did not mention Mayor Thomas M. Menino in his speech.

Asked about Mayor Menino following his remarks, Connolly said, “I think the Mayor does a great job, but he can’t do it alone.”

Connolly, the son of former Secretary of State Michael Connolly, clearly has politics in his blood. Most people with his academic pedigree don’t seek to spend their summers in the grueling routine of door-knocking, canvassing voters at picnics and softball games, and attending often mind-bogglingly tedious community meetings. It’s good for the system that he wants to be a candidate again. He’ll have to get past Michael Flaherty, Sam Yoon, Felix Arroyo and Steve Murphy, however, to achieve his dream — a two year stint on the Boston City Council.

Disclosure: Regular readers of this site know (and sometimes tire of hearing) that I served for more than three years as the press secretary for Mayor Menino. For my view of the Mayor, click here.

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