With the pristine steeple of the First Parish Church rising behind her, and yellow and orange leaves of autumn falling from above her, former State Representative Charlotte Golar Richie ended the waiting game.
Surrounded by supporters, the third-place finisher in the Sept 24 preliminary election for Boston mayor, and the sole female candidate in the race, cast her support behind State Representative Martin J. Walsh. The endorsement was one of the most coveted in the race, coming just four weeks before Boston will choose its first new mayor in 20 years.
“This is a great day for Dorchester and a great day for Boston,’’ Golar Richie declared enthusiastically. “We’re going to elect Marty Walsh mayor of Boston.’’
In a mayoral final contested by two Irish-American men, although six candidates of color ran, Walsh has now secured the backing of the three minority candidates who earned the most votes: Golar Richie, city councilor Felix G. Arroyo, and former school committee member John Barros.
“It feels like the band is back together,’’ Walsh said, flanked by all three. “This is much more than an endorsement.’’
Both Walsh and his opponent, city councilor John R. Connolly, had aggressively courted Golar Riche, who keep her final decision close to the vest.
“I wanted to make sure that my endorsement was not just a leap of faith,’’ she said.
Some close supporters said as late as Thursday that it was unclear if she would endorse at all. But, as first reported by the Globe, Golar Richie made up her mind on Friday, calling Walsh and telling him that he had her support.
“During my campaign for mayor, I talked about the tale of two cities… of the haves and have nots.’’ Golar Richie said. “I’m convinced that Marty understands the struggles of working people because he has lived through it.’’
Speaking over the cheers of dozens of supporters, Golar Richie delivered an impassioned speech in which she praised Walsh’s commitment to diversity in his administration, his ability to work and negotiate with labor unions, and his understanding of what it takes to improve public safety and education.
Golar Richie’s confident endorsement — as well as the support of Arroyo and Barros – comes as both Walsh and candidates double down in communities of color — which could be kingmakers in the general election.