Q&A #2: A Walsh-Connolly Rematch in 2017?

The answer to today’s second Ask Bernstein Anything question.

“Rob” asks:

Will John Connolly seek a re-match against Mayor Walsh in 2017? And are there others who may challenge him?

I certainly wouldn’t count it out. Connolly is young, politically savvy, and acquitted himself well in the campaign. Obviously the big question is whether Boston residents are generally pleased with Walsh three years from now, but if they aren’t—and especially if there are heightened problems relating to the public schools—I can certainly see Connolly going for a rematch if he has any interest in it. And if his wife allows it.

As for others, that again depends on how things go with the city and the administration. There are plenty of folks out there who could take Walsh on—including some for whom the timing or circumstances kept them from running in 2013—but their willingness to try, and their ability to get backing and support, depends more on Walsh than on them.

Walsh is politically sharp enough to keep his eye on potential exposed flanks; for instance, he knows (as Tom Menino did) that he can’t afford to ignore or alienate the minority communities who can make or break a mayoral re-election.

But sometimes things just go wrong, and a mayor ends up alienating or angering groups or neighborhoods despite his best intentions. And if that happens with Walsh, sure there are lots of people, including Connolly, who could take him on.

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