Ross Bid Falls Short

By John Hilliard
BU News Service

BOSTON — In the end, longtime City Councilor Michael Ross wasn’t able to break free of 11 other candidates running to replace outgoing Mayor Thomas Menino this November.

In his concession speech among supporters at Boston Chops in the South End, Ross noted his campaign wasn’t the biggest, wealthiest or held the most endorsements, but credited it with having “the best ideas.”

“We exceeded expectations and proved the strength of our ideas. I’m proud of the campaign we ran,” said Ross.

According to unofficial results still being tallied by city elections officials and posted Tuesday night on Boston’s elections website, Ross won 8,155 votes, or about 7.23% of votes cast.

“We ran hard. We never let up,” said Ross Tuesday night, pausing a moment to laugh briefly, then saying:. “Did we run hard.”

“I still haven’t slept, folks,” Ross added.

After his speech, Ross said he’s going to take a few days off and spend time with his family in Gloucester and “figure things out.”

Ross gave up the District 8 council seat he’s held since 1999 in order to run for mayor. Despite his long stint as a city councilor and two terms as city council president, Ross was never able to emerge from a pack of largely like-minded candidates for Boston’s top job.

Before polls closed, a blogger at Mass. Numbers took results from some recent polls and reported that the Mission Hill resident was squarely in the middle of the 12-candidate field, coming in seventh with an average of about 5.5 percent.

When Ross joined the mayoral race, five challengers — Michael Joseph Nichols, Gloria Murray, Josh Zakim, Thomas Joseph Dooley III and Angelica Elle Addivinola — sought a change to replace him and represent the residents of Audubon Circle, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, Kenmore Square, Mission Hill and West End.

Ross is a real estate attorney with the firm Prince Lobel Tye LLP, and the Boston Business Journal reported that players in the city’s real estate community contributed heavily to his campaign.

According to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Ross’ campaign raised more than $780,000 as of Sept. 15.

Ross supporter Mindy Butts attended Ross’ campaign party Tuesday, and cheered when Ross’ named appeared on television broadcasts, even though he wasn’t leading the race.

She said she supported him because of his involvement and availability with the community. Even though Ross is no longer representing the Eighth District, she expected him to remain in the public eye.

“He’ll find a way to stay connected to it all — that’s the kind of guy he is,” she said.

In the last hours before the polls closed, the campaign’s communications director, Josh Gee, expressed optimism that the campaign could come out stronger than polls suggested.

He said that turnout for neighborhoods he said were strong for Ross — like Mission Hill and Beacon Hill — were also higher than they expected, and could have resulted in more Ross supporters at the polls.

“We think this is good for us. If there are fewer voters, but more of them are coming out of Mike’s base, that’s a really strong thing. That’s really strong for us,” said Gee.

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