Meg Connolly, the wife of mayoral candidate John R. Connolly, expressed frustration today with the way her husband has been portrayed by opponent Martin J. Walsh, and ventured off script to tearfully describe for the first time publicly her cancer fight early in their relationship.
“There are some people who are trying to write their own story about John’s life,” Meg Connolly said speaking at a gathering of women business and civic leaders at Communispace. “It’s wrong for the Walsh campaign to attack my husband’s character, his background, and our family.”
The city councilor has come under repeated fire for his work as an attorney and for the fact that both of his parents are politically connected. Mailers sent by union groups on behalf of Walsh have labeled Connolly a “son of privilege.”
In her remarks, Meg Connolly said that when she and John were first engaged, she was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of blood cancer. She said that as an intensely private person, she did not want to tell anyone—so John was one of the few people who knew of the illness.
“I just want you to know that John was there for me every step of the way,” she said through tears. “We were planning a wedding and not talking about this huge thing that was going on in our life.”
The speech set the room silent. Several Connolly campaign staffers said afterward that they had never before heard about Meg Connolly’s cancer fight.
“I keep ending up with these speechless moments during this campaign, and once again I’m left without any words,” John Connolly said after giving his wife a hug and a kiss. “I think it’s a shame that we’re in a campaign that my character and background has been viciously attacked to the point that my wife would feel she needs to share stories that we would prefer to keep private.”