Rob Consalvo Gets The Big Guns

In this early phase of the Boston mayoral race, one of the insiders’ games is judging the hired talent. Felix Arroyo impressed many when he landed Doug Rubin’s Northwind Associates, along with Clare Kelly of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Some were underwhelmed with Charlotte Golar Richie signing up James McGee and Newgrange Consulting.

Later today Rob Consalvo fires his salvo in this battle. I have learned that he will announce that local legend Tad Devine, among others, is joining his team.

“It’s a great opportunity to work in an exciting race,” Devine tells me. “These Boston mayoral races seem to come along once in a generation.”

Devine, proud son of Providence, Rhode Island, has been an advisor to the stars, including Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry. (Yes, yes, I realize that none of them became President. It’s still a BFD.)

Devine and his consulting partner Mark Longabaugh will be senior advisors to the Consalvo campaign. Jeff Knochin, a young BC alum late of the Elizabeth Warren and Suzanne Bump campaigns, will be named field director, and out-of-staters LA Harris & Associates will be the finance director.

Just yesterday, Devine and Longabaugh’s underdog candidate for mayor in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Eric Papenfuse, won his Democratic primary, essentially guaranteeing his election.

Devine says he was impressed in meetings with Consalvo over the past month. He says that along with the ground game, voter contacts, and energizing of Consalvo’s voting base, the campaign will use mass communications and media — probably targeted cable television ads — as well as social media.

And he disputes the common perception that Consalvo lacks a broad vision for the city, that voters might be looking for in their next mayor. “I think people want a mayor who will do the principle job of the office — take care of the city,” Devine says. “People want mayors to work on the problems that affect their lives. To me, that is a vision. That is a real important vision.”