Golar Richie Takes Third, Questions What Went Wrong

September 25, 2013

Taking third place in the Boston mayoral preliminary Tuesday night was Charlotte Golar Richie, who many believe had the best shot of all of the minority candidates of competing in the general election. 

As the votes were being counted, the ballroom at the Copley Fairmont could have been likened to an elevator full of anxious passengers — there was a feeling of hopefulness when the polls closed at 8PM, but as the night wore on, and with nearly 50 percent of the votes counted, hopefulness gave way to disappointment, and few were as disappointed as Golar Richie herself.

"You could say, maybe, Charlotte didn't do a good enough job in selling my candidacy to other candidates so that I would have them all join me, I don't know," Golar Richie said. "Or you could say that other candidates had egos that prevented them from saying, 'Hey, it looks like I'm not gonna win, let me get behind someone else.' There are any number of reasons why it didn't work. Maybe the city as a whole isn't ready for it. I don't know."

Richie came in third with 13 percent of the total vote. One supporter it have been a far different result had the other contenders of color in the mayoral race had united behind a single minority candidate.

Richie herself does not blame other candidates or the lack of a united strategy for her loss.

"If there had been three spots in the final, I'd be in the final," she said, laughing. "It's a bad break, right? You go from 12 to two."

She also says that a critical Boston Globe editorial and a subsequent journalistic lashing from columnist Larry Harmon did not help her candidacy:

"I guess I thought he liked me," she said. "I didn't know he felt that way. How about that? I've known him for years, and that one took me by surprise. I still kept my subscription. I thought I paid my bills, I'm going to go back and make sure we're not in arrears."

With a third place finish, Golar Richie now sees herself in the position of power broker between Marty Walsh and John Connolly.

"I have not had a chance to sit down and talk to them," she said. "I, frankly, thought I was going to be in the final, so I thought people were going to want to talk to me — didn't work out that way, right? But at some point the dust clears, and I'll want to sit down with them. And I think they'll want to sit down with me, too."

At 54, Golar Richie says she does not see herself among the new crop of politicians like Michelle Wu, but she says that Wu and others of her generation may succeed in doing what she did not do: Becoming the first mayor of color in Boston.

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