Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Councilor McDermott to Step Down: Local Politics Become Frantic

Boston City Councilor Jerry McDermott has announced that he will not seek reelection this year for his Allston-Brighton seat. He cited a desire to spend more time with his family and return to the real estate business. (I'm not sure the latter is such a great bet at the moment.)

The announcement throws local politics into a tizzy, because candidates must initiate their nomination papers with the Election Department by May 15, and complete their filing by May 22. The last election required 98 signatures to file, but a call into the department today stated that 200 would be needed this time for the Allston-Brighton seat.

The last open-seat election was in 2002 following the sudden death of Councilor Brian Honan. Nine candidates ran for the seat in 2002:

John A. Bruno
Cathleen Campbell
Mark S. Ciommo
Gary W. Dotterman
Rosie Hanlon
Jerry McDermott
Dan McLaughlin
Mark David Trachtenberg
Arturo Vasquez

with McDermott the eventual victor over Ciommo by 424 votes in the final run-off. Most of those names probably form a first list of potential candidates in 2007. A short background on those candidates can be found in an old Boston Phoenix article. One of those individuals, Mark Trachtenberg, has recently stated for the record that he has "absolutely no intention of running against Jerry McDermott this year"; now that McDermott is out, that carefully crafted statement still allows Trachtenberg to run. That 2002 race was wide-open and exciting. (Both links may require archive fee.)

Other contenders worth adding are:

Gregory Glennon
Tim Schofield
Joe Walsh

The 2005 race for State Representative was a close, three-way event: the Democratic primary race was won by current State Rep. Michael Moran who led Schofield by only 64 votes, and Glennon was another 32 votes behind that. Wrote David Bernstein after that 2005 primary:
The impressive showing by unabashed liberal Tim Schofield should ensure that Moran keeps his promises on reproductive rights, gay marriage, public education, and other issues that arose during the campaign. That’s clearly where the district’s votes are.
And how could I miss the other two possible candidates who opposed Councilor McDermott in his last election in 2005:

Paul Creighton
Dan “the Bagelman” Kontoff

Creighton managed to get 30.87% of the vote in 2005, while Kontoff was in the "low single digits" in the preliminary. Again.

Note: one candidate has already declared.

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