There’s Bill Finch, Joe Ganim and Mary-Jane Foster, Howard Gardner and Charlie Coviello too running for mayor on the Democratic side. Enrique Torres is a Republican mayoral candidate. Okay, what about the City Council?
Some key members of the city’s budget and legislative body are determining (or maybe they’re not saying publicly) if they’ll seek reelection. Others are weighing who they’ll support for mayor. Some of this will impact the respective mayoral candidates because of votes they bring to the table.
A large question mark is the 130th District, covering Black Rock and the West End, that pairs Torres and Democrat Sue Brannelly. Torres won his seat in 2013, but now is seeking his third shot at the mayoralty. Word is Brannelly has had enough after barely surviving reelection two years ago. Brannelly, a Finch supporter, has served as co-chair of the council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee, a demanding position, with little fanfare. Maybe she’d rather devote her volunteer time to other causes? Council members receive $9,000 stipends to cover expenses in lieu of a salary.
If Torres and Brannelly are both out, who’ll replace them as candidates? One candidate in the wings is citizen fiscal watchdog John Marshall Lee who’s trying to determine where he fits in as a City Council insurgent. Democrat? Republican? Something else?
In the West Side 132nd District incumbent Bob Halstead is supporting Joe Ganim while his council partner Trish Swain is backing Foster. Swain, a budget committee member as well, has been a balanced voice on the council. Ask her a question and you get a direct answer, not necessarily with a biased agenda.
There’s pockets of fascination in this election cycle such as the East Side 137th District, the domain of the city’s queen of absentee ballots Lydia Martinez, generally a Finch supporter. Her council partner Milta Feliciano is on the public payroll as chief of Veteran’s Affairs, but she has attended two Ganim fundraisers. It’s not often someone who works at the pleasure of the mayor strays. Finch spy or legitimate Ganim supporter?
So the future makeup of the City Council is definitely a work in progress.