Some Copley Voters Favor Connolly

BY Claire Giangrave
BU News Service

Boston — The Boston Public Library at Copley Square saw a continuous flow of people today as voters cast their ballots for mayor, deciding between City Councilor John Connolly and Massachusetts House Rep. Marty Walsh. Recent polls put the candidates neck and neck, with no clear front runner, but at Copley, the majority of voters reported casting their vote for Connolly, citing education, which was a recurring theme during this election.

Susan Smith, a retired teacher, cast her vote for Connolly this afternoon. Connolly “has some good ideas for education, and he didn’t seem to be tied to the old-boys network,” said Smith. “I though it would be refreshing to have somebody a little bit out of the mix.”

Dorothy Piranian, 85, a retired medical secretary, also voted for Connolly. “Connolly is concerned with public school education. Too much tax payer’s money is given to charter schools and Mayor [Thomas] Menino has neglected the public schools. I am a product of the public schools,” Piranian said.

Andrew Baker, 27, said he voted for Connolly because, “Education is important, especially in Boston and for charter schools.” He feels that Walsh is too tied to the unions. “I just don’t think that that is a good thing,” he said.

The strong affiliation between Walsh and the unions doesn’t sit well with many voters, like retired writer Carolyn Livingston. She expressed her fear, saying, “Walsh’s connections to the unions bothers me, because I don’t know who he owes favors to.”

But education was not the only issue on the table. Some voters had other reasons to vote for Connolly. Danny Bailey, 26, self-employed, is concerned with different issues like the environment and the arts. “I like his initiatives for green energy and his idea for a new department of arts and leisure,” said Bailey.

Connolly is the Vice Chair of the Committee on Environment and Health and has been active on these issues under Mayor Menino.

Anthony O’Connor, a bartender, 30, voted for Connolly for his stance on education but also because of the opportunity to change the happy hour ban. “I feel like lifting the happy hour ban might have big impact in my profession.”

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