Early talk of the lawyer reproducing Cicilline’s electoral coalition set the bar high — perhaps too high. Cicilline, after all, entered his first mayoral race with advantages that Taveras could not claim: most importantly, his tenure as a well-connected state legislator.

Taveras, who has maintained a relatively low profile since a failed Congressional run a decade ago, had to introduce himself to broad swaths of the electorate this year. Even on the heavily Latino South Side, where he grew up, he was something less than a household name.

Still, Taveras was not working from scratch. He inherited much of the political coalition that Cicilline built over the years and added new pieces of his own. And at the moment, it’s hard to see how the city returns to the Federal Hill politics of the past.

But Taveras, fresh off his big win and almost certainly headed toward a general election triumph in November, takes the helm in a particularly difficult period for the capital city.

He will need to navigate this moment successfully if he is to block the return of a more traditional politics. David Dinkins, after all, gave way to Rudy Giuliani.  

David Scharfenberg can be reached atdscharfenberg@phx.com.

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