John Barros and The Elder Felix Arroyo Are In Action
John Barros has been considered a Bostonian with a big future by insiders for years, but his impressive, though unsuccessful, mayoral campaign sent his stock soaring. He then pitched hard for Marty Walsh in the final weeks of the campaign, and Walsh clearly thought highly of him.
But there was much in the rumor mill about Barros looking for other elected office instead of a job inside the new Walsh administration. His name was bandied about for Lieutenant Governor for a while, and then for state representative when a special election was called for Carlos Henriquez’s Roxbury seat.
I always thought Barros was too interested in actually doing productive things to be satisfied with either the LG or state rep role. So I am not surprised to see that he has instead taken a major, newly created position for Walsh. He will be in charge of economic development, coordinating activities across several departments.
It’s a big role and will require someone with all the intelligence, vision, and political skill that Barros is now widely believed to have; we’ll get to see whether that is real or hype.
Either way, it’s a position of high power and influence held by someone coming out of the Boston neighborhoods where minorities have struggled for representation.
There might be another one coming. Felix D. Arroyo—the former city councilor and school committee chair, father of the former city councilor, and Walsh’s new health and human services director—is running for Suffolk County Register of Probate.
That office is currently held by Patty Campatelli, who defeated Sal LaMattina to replace Richard Iannella (no, I do not know why it’s been considered an Italian-American principality), but Campatelli has been taking a beating in the press over some matters not worth getting mired in here, so she’s going to have a battle, at best, for re-election this fall. John Sepulveda of East Boston has already jumped in the race.
Now comes Felix the Elder, who had been spending most of his time abroad but seems to have enjoyed his return to Boston for his son’s mayoral campaign. This is one to keep an eye on.