As Chuck Turner faces what could be his last day as a city councilor, Roxbury insiders say there’s a small group of politically wired contenders for his seat.
Tito Jackson, a Grove Hall native and Gov. Deval Patrick’s political director, tops that list, and for good reason: Turner has already hand-picked him as a successor for the 7th District seat.
“I told (Jackson) that I would support him in a special election if I am removed from the council or in next year’s regular election if allowed to stay,” Turner told the council in October.
“He indicated he is interested and ready to run for City Council either immediately or next year.”
Jackson played it coy yesterday, responding to the Herald’s questions with an official “no comment.”
Community organizer Natalie Carithers, on the other hand, was quite clear about her political aspirations.
“I’m most definitely interested,” said Carithers, a former aide to Rep. Willie Mae Allen. “I’ve always wanted to run, and this is my opportunity.”
If elected, she said, she’d push for job creation and better access to health care.
Other rumored candidates are Monica Dean, a mental-health counselor who worked as former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson’s aide; ex-state Rep. Althea Garrison; Candace Sealey, a staffer for U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano; Robert Terrell of the Roxbury Neighborhood Council; and Hassan Williams, a lawyer and failed state rep candidate. None returned calls yesterday.
Carlos Tony Henriquez, who just won the 5th Suffolk rep’s seat, said their silence makes sense.
“Out of respect to Councilor Turner, a lot of people are keeping quiet now — but there’s a lot of talk out there. You hear it at City Hall and at neighborhood meetings,” he said.
Turner, a recently convicted felon, first won the seat in 1999
. If he’s forced out today,
the city will have a special election in the next 120 days, and whoever wins will be in prime position to secure the seat for a full term in the fall 2011 general election.
“It’s going to be a sprint,” Henriquez said, “rather than a marathon.”