By Seth Daniel
The dreams of the South End and Bay Village overpowering the tried and true Southie voting block in the District 2 City Council race were thwarted for the moment as Bay Village resident Mike Kelley suffered a lopsided loss to South Boston resident Ed Flynn in Tuesday’s Preliminary Election.
The loss, however, does not pull the curtain on Kelley’s campaign, as he will face Flynn in the City Election on Nov. 7, but it does hit the reset button to some extent.
The Preliminary Election in District 2 featured seven candidates, but only three of them were considered to be in the running, including Flynn, Kelley and South Boston’s Corey Dinopoulos.
Districtwide, Flynn prevailed with 56 percent of the vote (5,083 votes) to Kelley’s 32 percent (2,860 votes). Dinopoulos scored 6 percent of the vote with 504 votes.
As the vote totals went, Kelley won the seven South End and Bay Village precincts fairly easily, but he was no match for Flynn in South Boston – where voters came out much more heavily than in the South End.
Kelley won the seven local precincts 1,569 to Flynn’s 789.
Kelley had his best wins in Ward 3 Precinct 7, which votes at Cathedral High – where he won 394 to 76. He also did well in the McKinley School polling places, where in 4-1 he beat Flynn 260 to 61.
That said, the voters just didn’t come out in the Bay Village or South End the way they did in Southie, despite a lengthy campaign that had a lot of excitement and energy in the neighborhood.
In South Boston’s Ward 6, and Ward 7, Flynn outmatched Kelley 3,797 to 936. Those 15 precincts pretty much decided the Preliminary, with Kelley only winning the Fort Point area of Southie and not coming very close anywhere else.
Both candidates had been working the areas very hard and getting out their messages since last July. That, however, didn’t translate to huge voter interest on Tuesday – especially in the South End.
Kelley took the voting totals in stride and said Tuesday night there was still a path to victory. He was encouraged, he said, that 45 percent of the voters did not vote for Flynn.
“We came into this race with the cards stacked against us, knowing we were the underdog,” he said. “Then, 45 percent of the vote said no to the establishment candidate. We have the data we need now and the room to grow and win. With the support of endorsers like Attorney General Maura Healey, Sen. Linda Dorcena-Forry, and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, among many others. I feel very good about our path to victory.”
Flynn thanked his supporters and said he was ready to move on to the City Election.
“On behalf of me and my whole family, thank you for your incredible support, District 2,” he said via Facebook. “Now, it’s on to November.”