Most candidates wait until they are actually elected before making good on a campaign promise. But not Doug Bennett, the relentless at-large City Council hopeful who is one of eight candidates fighting for four citywide seats.
Bennett, 33, vowed to personally knock on 100,000 doors in Boston during his campaign, a feat that he said he accomplished this week. After all that pounding, Bennett estimated that he only came face-to-face with potential voters at 10 to 15 percent of the doors.
"Most of the time, they're not there," Bennett said in the rushed, upbeat voice of a man on the move. "But they get personal, handwritten notes from me asking for their vote."
Boston only has 255,082 residences, according to the US Census, which would mean Bennett schlepped to 40 percent of the homes in the city. He began the odyssey on May 12 in Charlestown, and to meet the goal Bennett had to hit at least 591 doors a day. To cover so much ground, the candidate said he traveled by foot, public transportation, mountain bike, and on a blue motor scooter.
A Globe reporter spotted Bennett on several occasions zipping around town on that blue scooter, helmet on his head and a green Bennett for City Council At-Large sticker on the back.
Last month, Bennett apparently grew impatient on the scooter as he waited at a notoriously long red light on Morrissey Boulevard, right in front of the Globe's office in Dorchester. Bennett inched forward, looked both ways, and blew through the red light, zooming toward South Boston. A few days later, Bennett was on the scooter again on West Fourth Street in South Boston, driving on the sidewalk and he went door-to-door.
"I always try to follow traffic laws," Bennett said when asked about the apparent violations on the scooter. "I don't know what you're talking about, but it's important that all motorists follow the drivers' laws."
Bennett abruptly ended the telephone interview at that point. But before hanging up, he vowed to continue knocking on doors if elected. (Bennett finished seventh in the preliminary election in September, just making the cut for the ballot on Nov. 3.)
"The people want to see more of their elected officials in their neighborhood," Bennett said, "doing what I'm doing."
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more