Menino’s hit list

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 28, 2007

In modern political circles, that’s not such an enormous sum to match. But individual contributions are capped at $500 a year, so a candidate starting from scratch would need more than 1000 donors — and many of the usual Boston-area contributors will be unwilling to give to a Menino challenger, as Maura Hennigan discovered in her 2005 effort to dethrone him.

Potential candidates with good networks outside those Boston political circles might have more luck. Former district attorney (DA) Ralph Martin, for example, has extensive contacts in the legal and business communities, so most observers believe he could raise the money, even in spite of a Menino clampdown.

Some candidates are already well on their way. City Councilor Michael Flaherty, who raised aggressively but spent judiciously this year to get re-elected, has more than $600,000 in his campaign account. Richard Iannella, a former city councilor and current register of probate, has more than a half-million dollars stashed, as does DA Dan Conley. Secretary of State William Galvin, who has saved up for a run at higher office but so far has passed on those opportunities, has close to $2 million.

Others needn’t worry about such trifles as money — they can just write themselves a check. Chris Gabrieli and Joe Kennedy are obvious examples, but the ability to self-fund also has observers naming David D’Allesandro of John Hancock; Jack Connors, formerly of Hill Holliday; and John Fish of Suffolk Construction as credible mayoral candidates.

The rankings
Bearing all this in mind, the Phoenix has compiled this list ranking the people most likely to mount a successful challenge to Menino in 2009 — or, should Menino not run again, to emerge victorious from the ensuing steel-cage death match.

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