Swan song for Southie?

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  April 22, 2009

Of course, some argue that there's no reason to make that assumption. "People are going to respond to whoever reaches out to them," says Ezedi.

Current declared at-large candidate Felix G. Arroyo, a Latino whose father was an at-large councilor, has been making that outreach, and is expected to do well among black voters.

When Arroyo's father, Felix D. Arroyo, ran for office, he joined with Yoon and the two African-American district councilors, Turner and Charles Yancey, to form "Team Unity." That strategy helped Arroyo Sr. and Yoon get votes among black voters — but there were no significant African-Americans then running at-large with whom they had to contend.

Insiders tell the Phoenix that there have already been discussions about creating a similar slate of minority at-large candidates — that is, a group of candidates explicitly campaigning together, asking for votes for the whole team. "I would not rule that out," says Ezedi.

Clearly, creating a slate would mean cutting some of the candidates out — and that's a difficult call. Would they include Arroyo, or Tomas Gonzalez, at the expense of a black candidate?

Most insiders suspect that a slate would only develop — if at all — after the preliminary election, which will cut the field to eight. Once the candidates see where everybody stands at that point, as one puts it, "anything is possible."

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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