Councilor Flaherty, Sen Boncore Announce are out for District Attorney

City Councilor at-Large Michael Flaherty, and State Sen. Joe Boncore, both announced this week they would not run for Suffolk County District Attorney.

Flaherty cited medical issues for his decision, while Boncore said he wanted to focus on issues that are taken up in the Senate.

Flaherty, a former prosecutor and former colleague of District Attorney Dan Conley – who announced earlier this year that he would not run for re-election, was the odds-on favorite had he decided to enter the race given his background and long history of political races in Boston.

However, on Monday night, he said the time wasn’t right for his family.

“After long and careful consideration, I have decided that I will not be entering the race for Suffolk County District Attorney,” he said. “While I have long been interested in the DA’s position, and greatly enjoyed my time spent as a prosecutor, I will always put my home life ahead of career interests. We have been working through a family medical matter and, while the prognosis is good, my full attention is on what is most important to me, my family. Now is not the right time for me to take on the immense obligations of a countywide campaign.”

He cited that he enjoys being a city councilor in Boston and will continue to serve happily in that role.

With the Southie candidate out of the race, many eyes turned to State Sen. Joe Boncore (D-Winthrop), who had hinted he might run for DA. Boncore, who represents a good portion of Suffolk County – including Revere, Winthrop, East Boston, the North End, the South End, Bay Village and Chinatown, had been indecisive on his stance, leaving the door open for a run.

His tenor about the office, to an observer, seemed to change when the leadership of the State Senate became solidified, and Senate President-elect Karen Spilka won the majority of vote commitments – a candidate Boncore did not back.

However, all of the speculation ended Tuesday evening when he released a statement saying he will not run for DA and will pursue re-election to the state Senate.

“While the District Attorney has great autonomy to ensure the all residents of the County have access to justice, the State Senate is the best place to have a direct impact on the issues central to my district and the Commonwealth,” said Boncore. “As a former Public Defender, I understand the need for criminal justice reform. The next District Attorney must ensure all residents have equal access to justice, institute diversion policies, eradicate collateral consequences and reduce recidivism.”

Despite the exit of Flaherty and Boncore, that still leaves five candidates in the race.

They include:

  • Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Greg Henning;
  • Dorchester State Rep. Evandro Carvalho, who ditched a state senate campaign to run for DA last month;
  • Rachael Rollins, an attorney for MassPort;
  • Shannon McAuliffe, a defense attorney who spent time running programs for the Chelsea-based at-risk youth organization Roca;
  • and Linda Champion, a real estate attorney.

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