GOOD MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS.
BOSTON AT-LARGE RACE ISN’T OVER — It seemed like the Boston City Council at-large race was finished. Incumbents Michelle Wu, Annissa Essaibi-George and Michael Flaherty cruised to reelection, and newcomer Julia Mejia had declared victory for the fourth open at-large seat on the council
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But things began to change around midnight last night. At-large candidate Alejandra St. Guillen called for a citywide recount, pointing to unofficial city election results that showed her only 10 votes behind Mejia for the fourth at-large seat. Mejia got 22,464 votes and St. Guillen received 22,454 votes, according to the city.
“This campaign engaged thousands of voters across this city to ultimately be separated by just 10 voters,” St. Guillen said in a statement. “Every voter who came out and cast a ballot – whether it be absentee, in the voting booth, or provisionally – deserves a full and complete count to determine who is our next city councilor at large.”
The move was a major shift from what St. Guillen said earlier in the night. She delivered a concession speech at her election party before 11 p.m. at Bella Luna in Jamaica Plain, and said she had called Mejia to concede. “It does look like we didn’t make it. We are 200 votes down. It’s too much to make up,” St. Guillen said to a crowd of tearful supporters, adding she wouldn’t call for a recount “for everyone’s sanity.”
Down the street, Mejia declared victory at her own party. “It’s a relief, to be honest with you, because I didn’t want people to lose faith in democracy, and there were so many people who were really excited about the possibilities,” Mejia told me just after she declared victory at The Frogmore in Jamaica Plain. Mejia celebrated with supporters including state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz and state Reps. Nika Elugardo and Liz Miranda.
But within an hour, the mood at Mejia’s party shifted as it became clear the margin between the two candidates was much thinner than originally thought. St. Guillen announced she’d seek a recount, and Mejia huddled with aides. It is not clear what a recount will entail or how long it could take, though sources tell me both campaigns were in touch with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s office last night.
“Ten votes is 10 votes, and that’s still claiming victory at this point,” Mejia told me last night.
“You have to recognize that the whole idea was for us to set out to change the way people were engaged in this process. So what message are we sending to communities of color, who came out in large numbers to demonstrate that they do matter?” Mejia said. “The message that we’re going to send is like, well, we’re going to see whether or not, how well you do matter, and whether or not you really do count.”
I asked Mejia if she felt confident she’d come out on top after a recount. With size a razor-thin margin, the results could be shifted by a single broken voting machine or a handful of absentee ballots.
“Absolutely I feel confident. And the thing is, is that it’s never been about me. This is about our people. And the question is: Do our people feel confident that this is their race to win? That’s the question that I’d like to put out there,” Mejia said.
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TODAY — Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito chairs a meeting of the Governor’s Council. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh speaks at a ribbon cutting for The Hub on Causeway, and later swears in the 2019-2020 Mayor’s Youth Council. Ranked choice voting legislation is up for a hearing before the Joint Committee on Election Laws. The House meets in formal session. Rep. Stephen Lynch is a guest on WGBH’s “Greater Boston.”
– Baker Impaired Driving Bill Gets Push From Law Enforcement,” by Katie Lannan, State House News Service: “Police officers on Tuesday asked state lawmakers to give them a new set of tools they said would help keep roads safe from drug-impaired drivers. Law enforcement representatives appeared before the Judiciary Committee to testify in support of Gov. Charlie Baker’s bill that proposes to address detection of impaired drivers, the interaction between police officers and drivers who are thought to be drug impaired, and how cases involving suspected impaired drivers are handled in the state’s courts.”
– “Historic election could shift balance on council,” by Yawu Miller and Alexa Gagosz, Bay State Banner: “At the Guira y Tambora restaurant in Roslindale, Ricardo Arroyo, the first Latino elected to represent the District 5 city council seat bounded onto a stage to applause and began his speech with a three-word sentence. “We made history,” he said. Just two miles away at the Frogmore in Hyde Square, Julia Mejia, who could be the first Latina elected to the city council, made a similar announcement.”
– “Boston City Council election mailer promoting candidate Craig Cashman comes under scrutiny,” by Steph Solis, MassLive.com: “Chinese Progressive Political Action, a local political advocacy group, circulated a flier endorsing Liz Breadon to represent the Allston and Brighton neighborhoods in the Boston City Council. But hours before polls closed Tuesday, a tweet was posted showing almost identical looking fliers with the CPPA logo promoting her opponent, Craig Cashman.”
– “Your Neighborhood’s Convenience Store May Be Closed on Wednesday,” by Spencer Buell, Boston Magazine: “If you try to drop in at your favorite local convenience store on Wednesday, only to find it closed for maybe the first time ever, here’s why. Hundreds of store owners plan to shut their doors all day on November 6 to send a message to state lawmakers that they’re not pleased with a push to ban menthol cigarettes, which have gotten caught up in the debate over sales of flavored cigarettes and vape juices. The Boston Convenience Store Owners Association say hundreds of its members will participate in the daylong protest, joining more than 1,000 shops statewide.”
– “A Wind Turbine Blade Bigger Than Big Ben Will Be Battered In Boston,” by Bruce Gellerman and Barbara Moran, WBUR: “The world’s largest wind turbine blade is taller than Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty. And on Tuesday it was unveiled in Boston in all its big, bendy glory. The 351-foot-long blade was fabricated by General Electric in France and shipped to the Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, the only facility in the United States capable of testing it. Over six months, the blade will be bent, wiggled and twisted millions of times in a series of fatigue tests, to ensure that it can withstand more than 25 years of operation at sea.”
– “These prosecutors won office vowing to fight the system. Now, the system is fighting back.” by Mark Berman, The Washington Post: “Prosecutors in Boston went to court days after the controversial “Straight Pride Parade” this summer with plans to drop some of the cases against counterprotesters, deeming one disorderly conduct charge “inappropriate.” When the judge pushed back, attempting to continue that prosecution over their objections, District Attorney Rachael Rollins publicly denounced him and appealed to the state’s high court. She won a judgment stating that Judge Richard J. Sinnott had overstepped his authority. It was the kind of action Rollins had promised voters when running for office in Suffolk County, Mass., last year.”
– “Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid,” by Alexander Bolton, The Hill: “Senate Democrats are nearly united in their opposition to Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), the scion of their party’s most fabled family, in his bid to unseat Sen. Ed Markey (D). The Kennedy name has captivated Democrats going back 60 years, when John F. Kennedy ushered in the era of Camelot by winning the 1960 presidential election. But it seems that magic is starting to wear off 10 years after the last Kennedy to hold a Senate seat, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), died while in office.”
– “In R.I., there’s excitement about frequent Providence-to-Boston train trips, but logistical questions remain,” by Edward Fitzpatrick, Boston Globe: “Key questions about funding and logistics remain before electric trains would begin providing faster, more frequent trips between Providence and Boston. But that goal is in sight now that the MBTA oversight board has called for using electric trains on three lines, including the Providence Line, and providing train service every 15 to 20 minutes on those busy corridors. Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Rhode Island transit advocates Tuesday applauded the series of resolutions that the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board approved a day earlier.”
– “T notes: GLX will be big money loser,” by Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine: “THE MBTA IS FORECASTING that the cost of running the Green Line extension in its first full year of operation will far exceed the revenue gained. According to projections provided to the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board on Monday, the cost of running the Green Line extension will be $44.6 million while the revenue will be just over $1 million. The fare recovery ratio (revenue divided by expenses) will be just 2.3 percent.”
– “Boston U.S. Appeals Court Hears Arguments On Due Process For Students Accused Of Sexual Assault,” by Fred Thys, WBUR: “A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston heard oral arguments Tuesday on what rights a private college must give to a student accused of sexual assault. The case, John Doe v. Boston College, involves a current male BC student accused of sexually assaulting a female BC student in November of 2018. Doe, the anonymous plaintiff, was suspended for one academic year by BC after officials at the private college conducted an internal investigation into the accuser’s Title IX complaint filed earlier this year and allegations against him.”
– “SJC to consider showdown over shortage of lawyers for poor,” by Michael Jonas, CommonWealth Magazine: “ALL DEFENDANTS in criminal cases are constitutionally entitled to legal representation, regardless of their ability to pay for an attorney. But what happens when the office charged with providing lawyers for poor people says it is so overloaded with cases that it can’t provide an adequate defense to any more clients? That question will come before the Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday in a closely watched case that will have implications across the state.”
– “Rep. Pressley In No Rush To Endorse In Democratic Primary, The Associated Press: “Democratic U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley says she’s being courted by top party candidates for president for her endorsement. But unlike her fellow members of the “squad” — four Democratic freshmen female representatives of color who have been sharp critics of President Donald Trump — Pressley has yet to announce which candidate she’ll back. Pressley told The Associated Press Monday she’s been approached by top Democrats — including the campaigns of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden — but said she’s focused on local elections.”
– “Boston Medical Center employees to protest Melania Trump’s visit on Wednesday,” by Andy Rosen, Boston Globe: “Some 250 people who work at Boston Medical Center are protesting a scheduled visit Wednesday by first lady Melania Trump to a hospital program that helps babies who were exposed to drugs in the womb, according to opponents of Trump’s appearance. Organizers of the protest say they are concerned that a photo opportunity highlighting BMC’s work with a vulnerable population could send the wrong message to patients — especially immigrants who are worried about the Trump administration’s enforcement policies.”
– “Donald Trump ‘Keep America Great’ gear not welcome at Quincy polls,” by Erin Tiernan, Boston Herald: “Quincy voter Kirk Watts says he was accosted by an election worker for wearing his Trump gear to the polls — and the city clerk is backing her subordinate even though Trump isn’t on the ballot. Watts said he always wears “at least” a Trump T-shirt. On Tuesday, before going to do his civic duty, he put on his Keep America Great hat and suited up in a dark red Trump 2020 sweatshirt, socks and bracelets. It’s a look that he said has gotten him a fair amount of negative attention in the liberal-leaning Democrat state.”
– “Shifting Demand Fuels Weymouth Compressor Debate,” by Barbara Moran and Miriam Wasser, WBUR: “The energy company Enbridge has a plan, and it’s called the Atlantic Bridge Project. Approved by federal regulators in 2017, the $452 million project would pipe more natural gas north from New Jersey into New England and Canada. To make the project work, Enbridge says it needs to build a 7,700-horsepower compressor station in Weymouth to push gas up the pipeline to customers farther north. But two of the customers that signed on to the Atlantic Bridge Project — New Brunswick-based New England NG Supply Limited (NENG) and Exelon Corporation — have backed away from their contracts with Enbridge and agreed to sell at least part of their capacity to National Grid.”
– “Here’s what Massachusetts officials said about the U.S. formally moving to withdraw from the Paris agreement,” by Nik DeCosta-Klipa, Boston.com: “President Donald Trump’s official, if not unsurprising, announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is being condemned by Massachusetts Democrats as a “reckless” abdication of the country’s global leadership. More than two years after Trump first announced his intentions to pull out from the international emissions-reduction deal, the administration notified the United Nations that it was formally beginning the withdrawal process on Monday, the earliest day it was allowed to do so.”
– “Maynard’s flexibility with marijuana entrepreneur cited as example for others,” by Jessica Bartlett, Boston Business Journal: “David Rabinovitz had been looking for a way to start a marijuana dispensary for a year, but ran into roadblock after expensive roadblock navigating the strict rules surrounding town approval and finding a business space. The chief executive of NewCann Group found real estate in Ware, but the town ultimately picked an operator willing to donate $15,000 to a local charity and pre-pay $50,000 in fees to the community.”
– “Ban on medical marijuana vapes to end unless cannabis commission votes to keep it, judge rules,” by Naomi Martin, Boston Globe: “Governor Charlie Baker’s ban on medical marijuana vaping products will end next week unless the state cannabis Control Commission votes to keep it in place, a state judge ruled Tuesday. The ruling does not apply to the ban on nicotine or recreational marijuana vapes. State lawmakers clearly wanted the cannabis commission to oversee the medical marijuana industry and prioritize access for patients, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Wilkins ruled.”
— Herald: “INSIDE THE RUTHLESS CARTEL THAT DID THIS,” — Globe: “ACROSS THE KITCHEN TABLE, A SWELLING POLITICAL DIVIDE,” “US envoy now says he helped lay out quid pro quo,” “A WIN FOR PROGRESSIVES IN BOSTON.”
– “’We know of no wrongful conduct’ involving marijuana businesses, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz says; city will cooperate with federal probe,” by Shira Schoenberg, Springfield Republican: “Mayor David Narkewicz said the city will cooperate fully with federal investigators looking into its dealings with marijuana businesses, in a probe that involves several communities across the state. “Our legal counsel has already discussed this matter with the United States Attorney’s Office and we know of no wrongful conduct, or even an allegation of such conduct, by any current or former City of Northampton official or employee or by any business in connection with the cannabis industry in Northampton,” Narkewicz said in a statement Tuesday.”
– “MGM Springfield property may be sold, leased back by casino giant,” by Ray Kelly, Springfield Republican: “As part of an “asset-light” strategy, MGM Resorts International is contemplating selling off MGM Springfield and other properties, while retaining control of the daily casino operations. The plan is similar to the $4.25 billion sale and lease back of the famed Bellagio Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas strip, which was announced on Oct. 15.”
– “Proposed Region C casino license in Southeastern Mass. crippled by market over-saturation, political in-fighting,” by Steph Solis, MassLive.com: “Eight years after it was created, Massachusetts’ third full-scale casino license for the southeastern region, remains unclaimed. The lead contender for that license, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, has been hindered by questions surrounding its federal land status, litigation and crippling finances. Now some experts wonder whether it’s too late for a southeastern Massachusetts casino as signs point to a casino market that’s quickly becoming oversaturated.”
– “Mitchell makes history, winning 1st 4-year mayoral term,” The Standard-Times: “Incumbent Jon Mitchell swept to easy victory over challenger Richard Tyson Moultrie to become the first mayor in New Bedford history to win a four-year term. In gaining a fifth term, Mitchell outdistanced Moultrie, 6,778 to 2,483, getting 72% of the vote to his challenger’s 26%. All told, just 16.4% of the city’s voters went to the polls. “I know the weather might have played a role, but it’s extremely low,” Election Commissioner Manny DeBrito said.”
– “Melrose Elects Paul Brodeur, 8 New City Councilors In Shake-Up,” by Mike Carraggi, Patch: “Paul Brodeur will be the next mayor of Melrose and the City Council will see eight new members, voters decided Tuesday at the polls in an election that will shift the landscape of city politics potentially for decades. Brodeur, a state representative, bested at-large City Councilor Monica Medeiros by a 60-40 split, according to unofficial results. He becomes the first new mayor elected in Melrose since Rob Dolan in 2001.”
– “Across Fall River, voters were ready for change,” The Herald News: “Before Paul Coogan handily won the mayoral election Tuesday night, the overwhelming sentiment among voters at polling locations throughout the city was that they were ready for a change, favoring the candidate over federally indicted incumbent Jasiel Correia. Voters also said they were ready to see new faces on the City Council and School Committee, which was reflected in the unofficial results released shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m.”
– “State Sen. Donald Humason defeats Michael McCabe by less than 100 votes to win Westfield mayoral race,” by Jim Kinney, Springfield Republican: “State Sen. Donald F. Humason Jr. defeated Police Capt. Michael A. McCabe for mayor of Westfield Tuesday by less than 100 votes: 4,983 to 4,886. McCabe has not conceded, saying he wanted to review absentee votes on Wednesday. Westfield has 24,731 registered voters. Humason will leave his post as state senator halfway through his term of office and there will be a special election to fill that seat. State Rep. John Velis, D-Westfield, has already declared his candidacy if there is a special election.”
– “Domenic Sarno wins reelection, becomes longest-serving mayor in Springfield’s history,” by Stephanie Barry, Springfield Republican: “Mayor Domenic J. Sarno coasted to a fifth term Tuesday, becoming the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history. First elected in 2007, Sarno bested challenger Yolanda Cancel by a wide margin — 11,848 votes to 3,587 — but said victories feel short-lived as the mayor of an urban center. “You can’t dwell on your victories for too long in this job. There’s always another fire to put out,” said Sarno, adding that he dedicated this campaign to his 83-year-old father, Alfonso Sarno, a retired barber and Italian immigrant.”
– “Shaunna O’Connell makes history, wins Taunton mayoral race,” WPRI: “State Rep. Shaunna O’Connell has won the election for mayor of Taunton, preliminary results show. O’Connell, who defeated City Councilor Estele Borges, will become the city’s first female mayor once she officially takes office in January. “The people really spoke tonight,” O’Connell told WPRI 12.”
REMEMBERING DAVID MADDEN … from the Patriot Ledger: “David Madden, Weymouth’s first mayor and former fire chief, died on Monday, 20 years nearly to the day after winning the town’s first mayoral election. He was 64 years old.” Link.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: MARKEY’S NEW HIRE — Elizabeth Vlock is joining Sen. Ed Markey’s reelection campaign as press secretary. Vlock previously served as spokesperson for Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, and a press aide at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Ryan endorsed Markey’s Senate campaign last week.
– Kate Donaghey joins Melwood Global as senior vice president and director of government relations. Donaghey comes to Melwood from the Massachusetts Teachers Association, where she was a government relations specialist for six years.
SPOTTED: at a panel hosted by the Boston Public Library last night … Rep. Joe Kennedy III, “College Behind Bars” filmmakers Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein, and Salih Israil, Sebastian Yoon, Max Kenner, Craig Wilder. Pic.
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