As they wrapped up their campaign for mayor today with a flourish, Martin J. Walsh and John R. Connolly did not forget one important voter: the man they are trying to succeed.
During a stop at Holgate Apartments in Roxbury, Walsh told reporters he had talked with Thomas M. Menino directly.
“I asked him for his vote,” Walsh told reporters.
Then, playfully turning to one of the television cameras, Walsh spoke directly to the mayor: “Tom Menino, you’ve been a great mayor of the City of Boston. I’d love to have your vote tomorrow.”
In their conversation, Walsh said, the mayor wished him luck and told Walsh he “ran a great campaign.”
The mayor has not made an endorsement in the mayoral race.
Speaking at another campaign event later in the day, Walsh said Menino would be remembered as “a great mayor.” Walsh cited his longevity and the “fact that he’s a neighborhood mayor, and people, everyone in the neighborhood feels so connected to him.”
“The economic development and all the other things he’s done is great,” Walsh continued, “but I think the fact that everyone is so connected to him personally.”
Connolly, who entered the race before Menino announced he would not seek re-election, rarely discusses the current mayor on the trail. But today, Connolly acknowledged that he models much of his campaigning style after Menino—seeking out every single hand at campaign events and spending time talking to as many individual voters as possible.
“It’s Menino 101,” Connolly said.
He said he was in college when Menino was first elected. “The furthest thing from my mind was the notion that 20 years later I’d be one of two people competing to replace him,” Connolly said.
Connolly, who has had high profile clashes with Menino in the past, said that as mayor h would seek to replicate Menino’s ability to relate to residents in all of the city’s neighborhoods.
“It says something about everything that Mayor Menino has done to lead this city that he is still in office after 20 years,” Connolly said.
Connolly said he speaks to the mayor often, but rarely about the mayoral race. Asked by reporters whether he thinks Menino will be voting for him tomorrow, Connolly smiled and said that he would love the mayor’s vote.