Train Spotting: Boston mayoral election night thoughts from a man-on-the-street

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The mayoral election has come and gone. According to the unofficial results, roughly 40 percent of registered voters filled in little bubbles on their ballots. While that’s a very respectable turnout, shouldn’t the most important municipal election since Menino’s first campaign in 1874 have been a bigger deal? Or, at least more exciting? We hit the streets for thoughts from regular people. After a day of chatting up regular people who didn’t want their pictures taken, we stumbled upon Michael Nichols, an unsuccessful candidate for Boston City Council-District 8, in front of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. Dude encourages aspiring politicians to invest in foot warmers for long periods of greeting voters in the cold.

Why didn’t you run for mayor?

City councillor is a big-enough job for a 30-year-old guy. I’ve worked in public service, and you’ve got to start somewhere. For me, it’s City Council.

What if you woke up tomorrow and, because of magic or whatever, you were suddenly mayor. What would you do?

Late night public transportation would be the number one thing.

The mayor of Toronto has had a problem with smoking crack recently. Do you think that’ll be an issue for Walsh or Connolly?

No. They both seem like upstanding guys.

The only real scandal in this election was negative campaigning, which isn’t very scandalous. Do you think people would’ve paid more attention if one of the candidates had some kind of dark secret revealed?

No, I just think there were a lot of other things for voters to focus on. Unfortunately, not enough of them focused on the election. But today was a near-record turnout, so I think more of them tuned in late rather than never.

I’m not sure how many people under 30 even noticed this election was happening. How could we increase the youth vote?

Um, well, I’ve got a number of ways. Certainly pushing for late night public transportation and pushing for affordable housing for all income levels is the type of stuff that, if young people realized those things were on the table for them, they’d support a candidate that supports [those causes].

Why don’t we already have late night transportation? The T closes before the bars.

Because we have a state legislature that doesn’t work properly. They should be supporting us on that issue.

Do you think the State Legislature is secretly pro-drunk driving?

I don’t know what their rationale is, but I think they absolutely need to let us have late night public transportation in the city.

If you had to pick an actor or a pop star to be mayor, who would you choose?

I guess George Clooney? He seems presidential. Or, you know what? Michael Douglas.


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