The political virgins

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  January 9, 2009

Plenty of others (including women) are thinking of running, but they want to first see how many openings there will be — if any.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that fresh faces will fill those two openings, if they even materialize. The opportunity could also entice one or more current district councilors to run for a citywide position.

John Tobin of West Roxbury would definitely consider it, according to a source close to the West Roxbury councilor. Rob Consalvo — who ran unsuccessfully at-large before winning in Hyde Park — denies plans for another at-large bid, but leaves the door open to it: “I love being a district councilor. I intend right now to run for re-election in my district.”

Maureen Feeney of Dorchester and new council president Michael Ross of Mission Hill also might be interested. All would see the same temptation: widening their base of support for a potential 2013 mayoral run.

That’s assuming Flaherty and Yoon run for mayor, neither of whom has yet set his plans in stone. In particular, some both inside and outside City Hall suggest that Yoon is publicly toying with a mayoral run as a ploy to boost his funding and public stature.

That’s not the impression one gets from talking to Yoon, however. Speaking with the Phoenix earlier this week, Yoon sounded like someone in the final stages of preparation. “There’s still some additional vetting I need to do,” says Yoon, “to achieve a comfort level, both with the external environment and for me and my family.”

He declined to elaborate on that vetting, but it is likely that it will include polling and political-strategy consulting.

Flaherty, who ended the year with around a half-million dollars in his campaign account, is ahead of Yoon in those areas, as well as in funding. He has recently hired political consultants EchoDitto and Hildebrand Tewes.

To read the “Talking Politics” blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at dbernstein@phx.com.

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