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(NECN: Greg Wayland) - The Boston Election Department deadline for getting in nomination signatures has passed. The field initially consisted of 23 candidates, but has been reduced to 16 by our count, of candidates vying for the job of Boston mayor.
According to the Boston Election Department, three candidates -- Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, City Councillor John Connolly, and State Representative Marty Walsh were the first to meet the 3,000 signature requirement by submitting nomination papers early.
They are expected to be certified this week.
Boston City Councilors Felix Arroyo, Rob Consalvo, Michael Ross, and Charles Yancey are also vying for the mayor's job and await certification of their signatures. Along with John Barros, Charles Clemons, William Dorcena, John Laing, David Portnoy, Charlotte Golar Richie, Bill Walczak, and David James Wyatt.
Former Boston School Committee member and retired Boston Police officer Robert Cappucci also submitted signatures.
All in all, a political mob scene.
UMass -Boston political scientist Paul Watanabe is a long-time observer of the Boston political scene. "Can you imagine a debate, for example with 15 or 16 people potentially on the stage?" he said.
He thinks organization will trump money in getting the political edge.
"With this large a field, I don't think getting on the air, getting on the media is going to be the most critical factor," said Watanabe. "The question is, can you rally the troops?"
One surprise, Charlotte Golar Richie is the only woman in that crowded field. That, and her experience, could make her a strong contender.
"She's held elective office," said Watanabe. "She's served both in the Patrick Administration. She served in the Menino Administration."
The next key date is June 25, the deadline for nomination signatures to be certified. That could further reduce the field of candidates, as signatures get scrutinized and some get thrown out.