The return of Dan Ryan to the Charlestown political scene as a candidate for the Boston City Council seat now held by Sal LaMattina is considered a fait accompli by those who are convinced that Ryan will be a candidate when and if LaMattina resigns his seat.
LaMattina has already taken out papers for a run for the Suffolk County Register of Probate position recently vacated by longtime register Richard Iannella. If he wins, the city council seat will be up for grabs a short time later.
Ryan, the well known, highly respected aide to Congressman Mike Capuano, lives in Charlestown. In 2006, he came up short by 152 votes against LaMattina in a heated struggle for the city council seat.
In that election, Ryan’s Herculean effort in Charlestown led to one of the biggest turnouts in the neighborhood’s recent history. With just a tad more support in East Boston and in the North End, he would have beaten LaMattina – but it never came to pass.
Ryan, according to friends and colleagues has already made up his mind to pursue the seat if the opportunity arises.
He will likely face Ernani Arujo, a Harvard graduate, East Boston resident, who has been working for the mayor’s office as his local assistant in East Boston for the past three years.
Arujo is multi-lingual with finance and banking experience who has been performing the job LaMattina used to do before he became a councilor.
Although Arujo has not officially announced, friends say he has the political bug inside him and he just might give it a go.
“Right now, I’m just doing my job,” he said. When asked about whether or not he is going to run he answered: “I’m just doing my job and serving the people of this city.”
There are manifold questions regarding the possible variables in an Arujo run.
Could he gain any traction in the North End and more importantly in Charlestown?
Also, will the mayor support Arujo.
There is the widespread belief among those who claim to know that when push comes to shove, the mayor calls the shots on the East Boston candidate. Right now, the mayor has not made a statement regarding his thoughts about this possible race.
It is known he likes and respects Arujo who is hard working and very bright – and multi lingual which comes as a great advantage in East Boston.
Arujo might also easily transition into the North End as he was brought up in an Italian/South American household.
In Charlestown, Arujo’s Harvard pedigree would serve him well in the Navy Yard and among the many professionals now living in the neighborhood.
Ryan, on the other hand, will be a very strong candidate in Charlestown, where he rallied voters in 2006. He will be hard pressed to pull out the same vote in a special election.
He will also struggle in the North End and especially in East Boston whomever runs against him.
However Ryan’s strengths far outweigh his liabilities.
He is very popular. An extremely friendly, gregarious, hard working, well known Charlestown guy who’s done a credible job for Congressman Capuano.
If he is committed to running and running hard, he is the man to beat at this moment.