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A matter of agenda

OPS photo by john blanding november 7 1983 king mayoral candidates mel king and ray flynn in a debate at the old south church.
Mel King (left) lost to Raymond Flynn in the contest for Boston mayor in 1983.John Blanding / Globe Staff / File 1983

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In his second run for mayor of Boston in 1983, state representative Mel King finished second in the preliminary election, but then lost to Ray Flynn in the final. That remains the top performance by a black mayoral candidate in the city.

Though he is supporting Charles Clemons, the African American cofounder of a low-power radio station who launched his campaign more than a year ago, King says what matters is not the color of whoever wins this year’s mayoral election, but that candidate’s agenda.

Here, King, 84, discusses what the city needs from its next mayor and what candidates must do to win.

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