Leading up to the Nov. 8 general election, the Globe will periodically profile each of the eight candidates vying for the four at-large seats on the Boston City Council.
One spring day when he was 18, Ed Flynn left school, went to a South Boston recruiting station, and signed up for the Navy. A quiet boy who wasn't into sports the way his father had been, Flynn idolized the veterans he knew as a boy. They had made sacrifices for their country. He could think of nothing more honorable.
It was 25 years ago, but Felix Arroyo remembers the night well. He was running for School Committee, trying to win votes at an event in Hyde Park. One man seemed distressed after Arroyo shook his hand. Arroyo says the man, who was white, recoiled from Arroyo, who is Latino, and wiped his hand on his jacket, ''right in front of me."
Stephen J. Murphy does his best to look cheerful as he marches down Brighton Avenue into a fierce headwind, which is blowing his freshly moussed hair into a feathery crest atop his 6-foot-4-inch frame. ''Happy Allston-Brighton Day, everyone!" he calls out, waving to a couple of families huddled by the roadside, sidestepping the piles of horse manure dotting the road.
It is Friday night, and the New Boston is working the Old Boston at Joe Tecce's. Sam Yoon, a ﬁrst-time candidate for an at-large City Council seat, a ﬁfth-place ﬁnisher in Septembers preliminary election, is making his way around the tables at the annual Columbus Day Parade banquet, and everybody seems happy to see him.
At rush hour on a busy Thursday, a group of women holding ''Connolly for Council" signs at a rotary in West Roxbury beam at the young man in the navy suit waving to the cars whizzing by. One talks about his prominent political family: ''Very down-to-earth, very smart." Another marvels at the first-time candidate's announcement speech.
Matt O'Malley no longer calls himself a ''geeky kid" with a fondness for Little Debbie Nutty Bars. He doesn't blog about run-ins with dogs on the campaign trail. And he has stopped drinking milk with dinner.
Patricia Hagan White, daughter of former mayor Kevin Hagan White, granddaughter of Boston City Council presidents William ''Mother" Galvin, and Joseph White, and great-granddaughter of the City Council president Henry Hagan, cannot stop talking about someone else while she's on the campaign trail.
The chicken wings have been served, and the party guests have been quieted. Michael F. Flaherty Jr. is standing in a tiny Roxbury kitchen doing the familiar work of all campaigning politicians, trying to win votes from an unfamiliar audience.