Last week’s citywide election results prove that the times are changing and that the electorate is changing with them.
The top two vote-getters in the citywide At-Large race were Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo, two incumbents with extremely varied constituencies throughout the city. Although topping the ticket or coming in second in balloting doesn’t signal a revolution is at hand, it does, however say something important about Boston voters and their preferences.
Pressley and Arroyo are taking a page out of Mayor Thomas Menino’s book.
Menino has achieved unparalleled success in his political career because he never viewed Boston through eyes that saw by color, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual persuasion.
Over the years, that type of political leadership by the mayor of Boston has helped to transform the city into the kind of place where Pressley and Arroyo have come into their own as political powers.
Voters did not express dismay with either At-Large incumbent candidates John Connolly or Council President Stephen Murphy.
However, Connolly finished third, about 5,000 votes off the top while Murphy finished fourth more than 10,000 votes off the top.
Does this mean that the mayor will face either Pressley or Arroyo at some point in the future?
On its face, it seems likely as the candidates themselves who did so well think to themselves that they are ready for prime time with a one-two finish.
Against that type of thinking comes the fact that no one does the political dance and the leadership exercise in this city better than the mayor.
His last victory over Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon was crushing – just as crushing as Flaherty’s loss in the At-Large race.
Flaherty’s loss proved how hard it is to come back when you’ve almost been to the mountaintop
To become the mayor of Boston both Pressley and Arroyo will have to do much more than finish first and second in an At-Large race.
They both need to build stature and to show bold leadership the way the mayor has shown it since first being elected.
In a city like this, that is easier said than done.
We congratulate the winners – all four winners in the At-Large race.
All four incumbent finishers retained their seats.
In the final analysis, not very much has changed.