The Skinny


Bostonians longing for a real mayoral race, as their neighbors to the west enjoy a vigorous exercise in municipal campaigning.

Whereas Hizzoner-for-Life Tom Menino swiftly crushes his challengers before they can even spit out the word "policy," in Newton the 2009 mayoral candidates are committed to full-throated competition. So much so that they’re even blogging together.

"We’re hoping for a good, robust debate of the issues," says Newton Tab editor-in-chief Greg Reibman, who set up the blog Newton’s Next Mayor on his paper’s website. Candidates Ken Parker (a city alderman, shown above left) and Setti Warren (a former John Kerry aide, above right) both post regularly; anyone else who officially enters the race, Reibman says, will be welcome, too.

"When you’re able to share ideas in a substantive way with someone you’re running against, it works well for the voters," says Warren. Echoes Parker, "We’re going to work together for the future of the city."

It’s hard to believe things will remain so kumbaya through November. But for now, respectful civic discourse reigns. For now. - Jason Schwartz