Mike Connolly Becomes First Occupier Elected to Beacon Hill
Update: Tuesday, November 8, 10:15 p.m.
It’s official: Connolly has emerged victorious. The Cambridge progressive Democrat was endorsed in the uncontested race by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution.
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) November 9, 2016
Five years after the Occupy Boston protests in Dewey Square, one of the movement’s own is on the fast-track to Beacon Hill.
Mike Connolly, a six-foot-eight attorney and self-styled “proud progressive Democrat,” defeated longtime state Rep. Tim Toomey, who also serves as a Cambridge city councilor, by an estimated 300 votes in Thursday’s primary. Connolly will not face a Republican challenger in the November election.
As noted by Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism founder Chris Faraone, whose book 99 Nights with the 99 Percent just received a five-year reissue, Connolly will almost certainly be the first member of Occupy elected to the State House.
Toomey, who told the State House News Service he suffered his first loss in more than three decades, plans to keep his seat on the City Council. Connolly ran against Toomey as an independent in 2012, and was walloped by the 20-year incumbent.
“I basically knock on doors and ask if people are interested in donating no money to my campaign,” he told the Phoenix at the time. “When they ask why, I tell them that we’re trying to set an example by getting money out of politics.”
In this year’s race, Connolly received endorsement from both Noam Chomsky and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ new political organization, Our Revolution. He opposed to the November ballot question that would lift the charter school cap, and in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.