Will City Councilor Sal LaMattina be the Council’s next president? Maybe not during the first round of voting when the Council convenes to elect its president in January.
However, LaMattina will most likely by elected during the second or third round after others that are jockeying for the key position find they don’t have the votes.
With Councilors like Stephen Murphy of Hyde Park, Bill Linehan of South Boston and Mark Ciommo of Allston-Brighton all reportedly eyeing the post, LaMattina’s keeping his desires close to the vest, which could help him in the long run.
If Murphy, Linehan and Ciommo all fight it out in the first round of voting but none are able to come up with enough votes for victory, LaMattina could swoop in and be the obvious choice to end the battle thus securing the presidency.
Already Council members like Maureen Feeney and Felix Arroyo are strong LaMattina allies in the council and if Murphy, Linehan and Ciommo do battle but can’t get enough support you might see Murphy and Linehan jump over to LaMattina’s corner as well as John Connolly and Rob Consalvo.
Ross, the body’s outgoing Council President could be viewed as a LaMattina supporter during a second round of voting.
This would give LaMattina seven out of a possible 13 votes and the majority that would be needed to be elected as the body’s president.
Over here, talk of having its first Council President has been a hot button topic. That coupled with some speculation that Mayor Thomas Menino could exit before his historic fifth term is up has caused a frenzy in the neighborhood.
If LaMattina is elected Council President he, like Menino before him, would finish out Menino’s term and have the advantage of incumbency to run for an elected first term as Mayor of Boston.
However, this might be something that could scare off some LaMattina supporters in the council that have their own mayoral aspirations.
Councilors Connolly, Ross, Arroyo and Pressley have all been touted as attractive mayoral candidates in the future and potential successors of Menino. While they might be LaMattina supporters for the presidency they may force a back room deal to protect their own future candidacies for the top job.
This might include making the next Council President promise not to run for mayor if Menino leaves before his term is up and use the role as acting mayor as an advantage for an official entry into a citywide mayoral bid.
This would ensure that any council president who might find him/herself in the role of acting mayor unable to use the advantage of incumbency Menino had when he assumed the role of mayor when Ray Flynn left in 1993. Menino was able to decisively beat Jim Brett when he officially ran for Mayor of Boston four months after assuming the role of acting mayor.