The only thing that most pundits and prognosticators agreed upon was that the two incumbents, John Connolly and Steve Murphy, would come in first and second place in the prelim. Depending on who you asked, the order would flip. This was also the source of a deep rivalry between the two colleagues – with each one wanting desperately to out-poll the other — though neither one would admit it. Publicly, at least.
When all the votes were counted, it wasn’t even close. Connolly ran roughshod over Murph, capturing 35,115 votes to his 30,311. This was an especially sweet victory for the freshman councilor, as he topped the ticket in eight wards (1, 2, 3, 5, 13, 16, 20, and 21) and placed or showed in an additional ten (4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 15, 17, 18, 19, and 22). Connolly’s biggest demonstration of strength came from his native Ward 20 (West Roxbury/Roslindale) where he received 6,163 votes. To put this number in perspective, that is larger than the total citywide vote totals of three other candidates. His best showing for percentage won was in Ward 2 (Charlestown) where he took 26.03% of the vote.
Murphy topped the ticket in four wards (6, 7, 18, and 22). He came in second or third place in an additional ten (1, 2, 3, 5, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, and 21). His best showing was also in Ward 20 where he claimed second place with 4,544 votes. His highest percentage won was Ward 6 (South Boston) with 21.95%.
Felix G. Arroyo, the son of the former city councilor of the same name, claimed a solid 3rd place victory in Tuesday’s election. This is noteworthy because his father had a history of placing poorly in the preliminary election before winning outright in the final election. Arroyo obviously learned a lot from his father’s ’07 defeat. He was the only challenger who seemed to execute a mail program leading up to Tuesday’s vote (I received two pieces last week). This was shrewd politics. While mail is always expensive, Arroyo’s voter contact no doubt helped him earn his 25,821 votes and ticket-topper status in nine wards (4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, and 19). He came in second or third in an additional seven (3, 5, 12, 13, 18, 21, and 22). Arroyo’s best ward in terms of vote total was 18 (Mattapan/Hyde Park) – where he grew up – and received third place with 3,395 votes. He captured his highest percentage won — 23% — in Ward 11 (Jamaica Plain/Roxbury).
First time candidate Ayanna Pressley, who has impressed many people on the campaign trial with her intellect and public service background, was able to round out the top four victors with a strong 16,846 votes. While she did not top the ticket (or claim a place) in any ward, she came in the top four in the majority of them (13/22). This demonstrates a widespread level of support: the key ingredient to winning an at-Large seat. Pressley came in third place in six wards (4, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16). She received her highest vote total in Ward 18 where, despite coming in 6th place, she was able to take 1,768 filled ovals. Percentage-wise, she did the best in Ward 4 (Fenway) with 13.48%.
Andy Kenneally, a former aide to city councilors Maura Hennigan and Mike Flaherty, claimed the fifth spot with 12,632 votes. He, too, did not win or place in any ward. Kenneally was able to come in third place in three wards (1, 7, and 20). To know Andy is to love him, as he earned his highest vote total in Ward 20 – where he grew up – with 2,896 votes and third place; and his highest percentage won – 16.13% — occurred in his current home, Ward 1 (East Boston).
Tito Jackson showed strength in communities of color in winning the sixth post-prelim spot with 12,520 votes. Jackson earns plaudits for putting together a strong campaign very quickly. He’s got a real capacity to grow here. Jackson topped the ticket in his native ward 12 (Roxbury) and claimed a second place win in four wards (8, 9, 11, and 14). His best showing for capturing raw votes was his eighth place finish in Ward 18 with 1,399. His best showing for percentage won was Ward 12 with 23.13%.
Doug Bennett surprised many by not only making it past the preliminary, but by scoring a seventh place finish with 10,519 votes. Say what you will, the guy deserves credit for working hard. He did not top the ticket or come in second place in any ward; but he did earn the third spot in two wards (2 & 6). His best showing for capturing raw votes was Ward 20 with a sixth-place 1,073 total. His best showing for percentage won was Ward 6 with 12.58%.
Tomas Gonzalez rounds out the field with 10,108 votes and eighth place. He ran a strong campaign and deserves credit for making the cut. He did not finish in the top three in any ward. He earned his highest vote total with the 1,108 he received in Ward 19 (Jamaica Plain/Roslindale); and his highest percentage with the 11.23% of the vote he received in Ward 10 (Mission Hill/Jamaica Plain).