Maura In The News

Hub's top guns taking sides as City Council D-day looms

by Steve Marantz
Monday, November 3, 2003

Boston City Councilor Maura Hennigan said yesterday that Mayor Thomas M. Menino has quietly thrown his support to incumbent Felix Arroyo in tomorrow's election in an effort to topple her from the 13-member body.

``His people are working for Felix, and it's more about trying to knock me out than helping Felix,'' Hennigan said during a day of campaigning from East Boston to Mission Hill to West Roxbury.

Hennigan, an 11-term incumbent, and Arroyo, the city's first Latino councilor serving his first term, finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the September preliminary.

Challenger Patricia White, who finished third to Michael Flaherty and Stephen Murphy in the preliminary, is expected to claim an at-large berth, leaving Hennigan and Arroyo vying for the fourth and final seat.

Menino, who hosted a fund-raising breakfast yesterday at the Airport Hilton - attended by Arroyo but not Hennigan - sidestepped whether he is backing Arroyo.

``There are a lot of suspicious buzzes out there,'' Menino said.

One political insider close to Menino said he had heard last week Menino was backing Arroyo.

``I think the mayor wants a more diverse council for the convention,'' said the source, referring to the Democratic National Convention in July.

Hennigan, who wants to run for mayor in 2005, said Menino wants to get rid of her because she is not afraid to criticize him, which she did recently after the city paid a $260,000 settlement to get ISD commissioner Kevin Joyce off the hook in a whistleblower lawsuit.

``When I see something wrong I speak up. Some people don't appreciate an independent voice,'' Hennigan said.

Arroyo said yesterday he has not spoken with Menino about his backing but that he feels Menino ``views me very positively.''

White, who also attended Menino's breakfast, confirmed Senate President Robert Travaglini had sent a recorded telephone message to voters in his East Boston-North End district on her behalf.

In the North Dorchester-Mattapan district race, incumbent Charles C. Yancey claimed the endorsement of Francis M. Roache, the Suffolk County register of deeds, former councilor and former police commissioner.

Yancey's opponent, Ego Ezedi, criticized Yancey for claiming endorsements of several ministers who have not endorsed him.

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