Education is what drives City Councilor John Connolly’s run against Boston Mayor Tom Menino. It’s a worthy issue with three daunting challenges: proving Menino has failed, convincing folks that Connolly has a better plan, and — if the first two tasks can be managed — finding enough voters who care.
Connolly announced his run at the end of February and was delighted with the immediate response. Within 24 hours, 600 volunteers had registered on his website. He knows the odds are long — “the entire city is questioning my sanity,” he tells me — but he thinks the state of Boston’s schools is the mayor’s weak spot.
In the 1990s, Menino promised big improvements. “Judge me harshly,” he said back then, and Connolly does. “The schools are marginally better but not where they should be,” he says. Excluding the notable successes of the city’s exam schools, “it’s been an abject failure.” Connolly promises a dramatic transformation.