Mayor Thomas Menino is expected to announce Wednesday that he is running for re-election.
Supporters of Mayor Menino have been asked to appear with him Wednesday evening at an event downtown where they were told the mayor would announce that he is running. Two later events are scheduled in Roslindale and in Roxbury.
Two at-large city councilors are already running against Menino: Sam Yoon of Dorchester and Michael Flaherty of South Boston. Tuesday night, Flaherty was about to leave his campaign headquarters to go out to meet voters.
“I am glad the incumbent mayor has finally decided to announce that he will run for an unprecedented fifth term, and I welcome him into the race,” Flaherty says. “Since my announcement last January, residents from across the city have expressed a sense of relief that there would finally be a legitimate race for mayor in Boston.”
City Councilor Yoon declined to comment. His campaign says this is the mayor’s day. Former City Council President Larry DiCara says for the first time since he’s become mayor, Menino has a contest on his hands.
“I think it is a race,” DiCara says. “Regretfully, the mayor has had one re-election with no opponent and two with opponents who never seemed to get off the ground. I think he has two very legitimate opponents, and I think it’ll be a very healthy contest for the city.”
A third candidate, South End contractor Kevin McCrea, did not return a phone call to his campaign manager on Tuesday night.
In his 16 years as mayor, Menino has earned a reputation as a tireless worker and a champion of the neighborhoods. He has at his disposal all the advantages of being the incumbent.
Former Mayor Ray Flynn says Menino’s challengers have a nearly insurmountable task.
“They’re at an extraordinary disadvantage,” Flynn says. “Not only from the standpoint of money — city workers, union organizations’ endorsements, business and developers.”
Flynn says he doesn’t hear a groundswell of opposition to Menino, but he does sense anxiety about the direction the city is taking.