Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chuck Turner's Last Hurrah? Not So Fast

That last hurrah for Chuck Turner might have to wait.

Three days after the November 3 election, the Jamaica Plain Gazette reported that the District City Councilor from Roxbury as saying he would not run for another term. He also said he had encouraged the fifth-place runner-up for councilor at-large, Tito Jackson, to be his successor.

Gazette publisher Sandra Storey says she stands by the report. But Turner said in a phone interview this morning that he would like to run for one more term.

“I’m continuing to plan to run in 2011,” he said, “and not to run for the District 7 seat in 2013.”

In a statement he issued the day after election, Turner made no mention of retirement, though he did say he would focus on his legal defense against his federal indictment on corruption charges. Until the case is resolved, Turner would still be barred from serving as a committee chair for the City Council.

In his second challenge against Turner in two years, Carlos Henriquez received almost 40% of the vote, more than double his percentage in 2007.

When asked about the Gazette report and Turner’s support of Jackson for councilor in District 7, Henriquez said, “I think I would be a good person to sit in that seat as well. That’s why I’ve run for the seat twice.”

Henriquez said the story prompted a friendly talk between him and Jackson.

“Tito and I have hundreds of mutual friends,” said Henriquez, “and we want to make sure we are not dividing our neighborhoods.”

Henriquez says his immediate plan is to go back to his job as Teen Programming Director for the Castle Square Tenant Organization and continue as the president of the board for the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. Jackson says he’s going back to his job in the Mass. Office of Business Development.

When asked about his support from Turner, Jackson said, “It’s a huge compliment coming from Councilor Turner, based on his work in the community.”

Jackson allowed for the possibility of a future campaign, though not necessarily for City Councilor in District 7.

“At this point,” he said, “I’d look toward serving the whole City of Boston in some capacity.”