November 01, 2013

Former state Rep. Mel King endorses mayoral candidate Marty Walsh.

It's 8:45 a.m. I'm sipping an espresso outside Canto 6 on Washington Street in Jamaica Plain. You know the place, just across the street from the police station.

I'm talking to two black guys I see there once or twice a week. After we trade a bit of Red Sox banter (it's not unlike church, "The Lord be with you." "And also with you."), we move on to the Boston mayoral race.

As usual, I'm a bit tentative about asking them who they are or might be voting for.

Some people can be touchy about this.

The first guy is Cape Verdean. He's about 30, married, has kids. "I'm for Connolly," he says, "because of the schools."

The second guy is American born, about 28. "I'm with Walsh, because he's a union guy like me," he says.

That was pretty much the conversation. No muss. No fuss. No particular passion.

I was curious to see what they made of Mel King's endorsement of Marty Walsh.

King, to me and most other area journalists, is an iconic figure. He was the first African-American candidate to make it to a final election. That was in 1983. He's been an eloquent voice for social justice. Taught at MIT. I could go on.

So without a windup I ask what they thought of Mel King's endorsement of Marty Walsh?

They answered in unison, in stereo:

"Mel who?"

Boston Mayor 2013

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