Episode 149: Ready Mayor One

35 minutes

9/17/20-- This week brought news that Ralph Gants, the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court died suddenly at the age of 65. Gants was an advocate for racial justice, whose call for Harvard to explore racial inequities in the Massachusetts criminal justice system resulted in the publication of a report just last week.

As Stephanie and Jenn note, Governor Baker will appoint two justices to the bench this year, as Justice Barbara Lenk plans to retire in December. Once the appointments have been made, Baker will have been responsible for putting up every justice on the Supreme Court bench. The Boston Globe reports that the only other governor to have appointed an entire slate of justices was John Hancock, the first and third governor of Massachusetts.

In municipal news, Michelle Wu has officially announced her run for Boston Mayor, and Steve is armed with polling numbers illustrating Wu's favorability stacked against sitting Mayor Marty Walsh. Wu's popularity is lower than Walsh's, but Steve predicts younger voters could be extremely influential in this election, and their role could take shape in a similar fashion that unfolded in Ayanna Pressley's 2018 bid for Congress against incumbent Mike Capuano. Steve explains, younger people learned about Ayanna Pressley, became likely voters, and ultimately became her supporters.

Meanwhile on Beacon Hill, the legislative session continues beyond its traditional July 31st end date after legislators moved to extend it through the end of 2020. Even with extra time dedicated passing major legislation on health care, transportation, housing and more, lawmakers have yet to make notable progress just yet. BFF of the pod and State House News Service reporter Katie Lannan stops by the show and explains that even though major developments haven't been made yet, because the legislative session continues, "the hope is still alive" on several of these big-name bills.

Over in Western Massachusetts, Springfield City Councilors are making moves to the State House. Councilors Orlando Ramos and Adam Gomez are headed to the State House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, after winning their Democratic primary elections. Matt Szafranski, editor-in-chief of the Western Massachusetts Politics and Insight blog, says Springfield City Council is "now a viable political launchpad." Plus, Matt provides insight into the 2nd Hampden-Hampshire district, where a rematch is underway between sitting state Senator John Velis and challenger Republican John Cain.

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