|By Rick Winterson
Three very strong candidates for the 2006 Mayor of South Boston have declared their intentions to run – Brian Mahoney, John Paige, and Tom White. The winner will be announced on Saturday, March 4. The race is still open. Entries, men or women, are encouraged to step up before Saturday, February 4.
South Boston Claddagh Society President Bob “the General” Lee, who was himself the fifth Mayor of South Boston, has announced that three candidates have signed up for the tenth mayoral race. During this interview, he emphasized that the nominations for Mayor are still open (until next Saturday, February 4). In fact, Bob wonders if a female candidate might consider stepping forth. Their track record has been good in previous campaigns – five of the nine past Mayors of South Boston have been women.
However, Bob is delighted with the three candidates so far. They come from various neighborhoods within South Boston, and can be expected to develop their own unique constituencies. They are (in alphabetical order, of course) Brian Mahoney, John Paige, and Tom White.
Brian is a lifelong resident. He went to Southie High, was a longshoreman at an early age, and joined the Army. After being a self-admitted hippie for awhile, he became a police officer for 15 years, both here and in Washington. Brian is now the sexton at St. Vincent de Paul. He and his wife Kellie are very proud of their son Brian, who is an Honors student at Boston Latin and played on the Chippewas championship team.
When asked why he wants to run, he said, “Because I think South Boston is one of the most important historic sites in America. It’ll be an honor to serve as Mayor, and it’s important to keep the Parade going.”
John Paige was born on McDonough Way in Old Harbor, went to St. Mary’s and McCormack, and then graduated from Southie High. He’s an active member of the Andrew Square Civic Association. John works as a union roofer out of Local 33. He married Mary Grygorcewicz, whose father was President of the Polish Club. John and Mary have two daughters, Julia (5) and Stella (2). Julia attends the Brighton Charter School.
In response to being asked about his reason for running, he replied, “I love the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Claddagh Society. I want to support them both.”
Tom White was originally from Roxbury and then moved to South Boston. He also graduated from South Boston High in the cooperative sheet metal option. He’s now the Director of Transportation for OceanCuisine, a seafood firm in Danvers. He married Kathleen Sullivan and has three stepchildren – Mark, Eamon, and Mary Kate (O’Leary). Tom is delighted to be the son-in-law of J.J. (“Sully”) and Catti Sullivan.
When asked why he decided to run, he said, “The Parade has become part of my life around here. It’s a wonderful time, and it’s a great opportunity to give something back while having fun.”
It will be a spirited race, in any event. You’ll be seeing Brian, John, and Tom all around South Boston over the next four weeks. And perhaps another candidate will decide to throw his or her hat into the ring.
For those of you unfamiliar with the annual campaign for Mayor of South Boston, it is an enjoyable way of raising money in support of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will step off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 19, this year. Each ballot can be bought for $1; the candidate who sells the most ballots is “elected” Mayor for 2006. To sell ballots, each candidate will hold various events and get-togethers between now and Election Day on March 4.
There are a certain few cynics who claim that elections in South Boston have always been run that way. That’s untrue, of course. But it is undoubtedly true that you can elect your favorite candidate as Mayor of South Boston by buying his (or perhaps her) ballots. Be sure to vote early and vote often before March 4.