Tobin was a top-notch councilor who set a high bar for service.
The Phoenix believes that 31-year-old Matt O'Malley is the best candidate to fill Tobin's shoes.
The son of two schoolteachers, O'Malley grew up in the district. He combines local knowledge with wide-ranging political and policy savvy, understanding how state and national policy impacts urban reality, and how to prioritize his neighborhood's grassroots needs.
If elected, O'Malley's constituents can expect a tireless advocate. Anyone who has had a chance to discuss the council with O'Malley would recognize that he lives and breathes public service.
O'Malley's opponent, Jim Hennigan, scion of a well-known political family, is an amiable and honorable guy. Hennigan, however, does not offer the potential that O'Malley exhibits.
O'Malley is, in our view, a bit too close to the teachers' union. That may be understandable given his family roots. But he recognizes that an unarguable priority in the upcoming year is to give the public-school system the tools it needs to remove inadequate teachers from its ranks.
Given that O'Malley stood tall and was opposed to paying firefighters for submitting to alcohol and drug tests, we believe he has the common sense and backbone to press for the sort of contract revisions Boston needs to improve its public schools.
The Phoenix endorses O'Malley and urges residents of District 6 to give him their vote.
: The Editorial Page
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