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Baker, Linehan win City Council races

Posted by Swati Gauri Sharma  November 9, 2011 12:10 AM

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Frank Baker’s win over John K. O’Toole in the District 3 City Council race will make him the only fresh face on Boston’s legislative body.

But one of the council’s returning members, Bill Linehan of District 2, barely eked out a win by a margin of just 87 votes.

The results of those two races were the only close calls in the district elections: In District 7 and District 4, incumbents Tito Jackson and Charles C. Yancey won in landslides.

In the District 3 election, the only City Council race without an incumbent, Baker garnered the votes of 56 percent of the 9,433 residents who came to the polls. O’Toole finished with 44 percent.

‘‘I’m just thrilled about the win,’’ Baker said, after receiving the news at his campaign headquarters in Savin Hill. ‘‘Now it’s about reaching out to people that were not necessarily with me, and representing all of District 3.’’

Baker, a native of Savin Hill and a former employee of Boston’s municipal printing plant, served for a year as vice president of the Columbia Savin Hill Civic Association.

Maureen Feeney, who had spent almost two decades representing much of Dorchester, announced in April that she would not seek reelection.

O’Toole lost despite the support of Mayor Thomas M. Menino and his powerful political machine. Baker had the backing of State Representative Martin J. Walsh.

Outside Florian Hall, on Hallet Street, in the southern part of the district where O’Toole lives, his supporters and backers of Baker lined the sidewalk to the polling station, holding signs and encouraging voters.

One constituent, Mary DeMariano, 57, said she voted for Baker because she was familiar with his life story.

‘‘He’s spent all his life in Dorchester,’’ she said. ‘‘He comes from a big family. He’s a lot like me. I think he’s going to do a good job.’’

Despite living in O’Toole’s neighborhood, Leah Finn, 45, said she voted for Baker because she was looking for a candidate who would work to improve schools.

‘‘I have four school-age children who can’t go to their neighborhood school, so I’m spending all this money to send them to private school,’’ Finn said.

In District 2 — representing South Boston, Chinatown, and parts of Roxbury and the South End — Linehan, of South Boston, fended off a challenge from newcomer Suzanne Lee. He earned 50.23 percent of the 10,084 votes; she earned 49.73 percent.

Lee, of Chinatown, had sought to be the first Chinese-American to win a seat on the City Council. She showed promise in the September primary when she outpaced Linehan by more than 200 votes.

In District 7, Jackson, the incumbent, received 84 percent of the vote, trouncing Sheneal Parker, a Boston Public Schools teacher who had touted her leadership roles in community organizations. Jackson was first elected to office just eight months ago in a special election following the ouster of Chuck Turner, who was sentenced in January to three years in prison for accepting a $1,000 bribe.

Yancey, who has held the District 4 seat for 28 years, received 89 percent of the vote to defeat J.R. Rucker, a telecommunications service technician who has run unsuccessfully in almost every City Council election since 1987.

Staff reporter Andrew Ryan contributed reporting. Martine Powers can be reached at . Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.

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