City Councilor Felix Arroyo joins race for City Hall

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April 9, 2013, 1:32 pm
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(NECN: Alison King, Boston) - Another candidate is now stepping in to the race for City Hall in Boston. City Councilor Felix Arroyo officially threw his hat in the ring Tuesday, launching his bid for mayor.

Anyone who's ever given a thought to being mayor of Boston knows that this chance, this open mayor's seat, can be a once-in-a-decade, or in this case, two-decade, opportunity, which is why the already crowded field of candidates grew again Tuesday with the addition of Felix Arroyo, a 33-year-old Boston City Councilor who spoke emotionally about his love of Boston and his determination to win this race.

"I will raise enough to compete and since I plan on being the next Mayor of Boston I will raise enough to win."
    
Downplaying the importance of his war chest, Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo jumped into the race for Mayor of Boston ending speculation over whether a candidate of color would enter the already crowded field.

From SEIU Headquarter in Boston he said, "You know what I will have?   The strongest grassroots campaign powered by committed volunteers and funded by small donors.  That's our path to victory because that's the only way I'd want to win and that's exactly how I'll govern."

Arroyo is the son of another Felix Arroyo, seen here in 1993, who was the first Latino to serve on the Boston City Council. The younger Arroyo would also make history if he were elected, becoming the first minority Mayor in Boston.

"He is a candidate of the new majority - he is the only candidate so far, major candidate, of that new majority and it’s something that immediately sets him apart from the others at least who have announced so far," says UMass Boston Professor Paul Watanabe.

"What he has to do though is, he's going to have to stitch a number of constituencies together.  Not just the Latinos, but the Latinos, the African Americans, the Irish, the Italians... If he can hold that ‘rainbow coalition’ as we used to call it, together? I think he stands a formidable chance to win," adds Arroyo supporter and Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins.

At least seven other candidates are in the Mayor's race or planning to make it official soon. 

They include: Boston City Councilor John Connolly, who got in the race before Mayor Menino announced he wouldn't run; Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley who has almost $900,000 in the bank; State Representative Marty Walsh who has close ties to the unions; City Councilor Rob Consalvo, a good friend and protégé of Menino's from Hyde Park; Codman Square Health Center founder Bill Walczak; Will Dorcena Forry; Charles Clemons.

"They all have some attributes that they're able to build.  The question is, who's going to be able to go beyond a narrow sort of clientele with either their council or amongst the unions,” says Watanabe.

Arroyo says this race is not about the new Boston or the old Boston but given this city's complicated history with race, it is expected to play a significant role in this political race. 

Tags: Boston, Alison King, Boston city councilor, mayoral race, Boston mayor, felix arroyo
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