Not so long ago, this race looked like a contest between two similar candidates, but, as it ends, no one should confuse the personalities or personal histories of John Connolly and Marty Walsh. Additionally, no one should confuse their stand on key issues.
"The thing I hear about is that connection between schools and safe neighborhoods, schools and better jobs and strong economy, and I think that message is resonating" said Mr. Connolly.
Education has always been Mr. Connolly's prime policy point. He wants schools to open earlier and close later; and he's made it clear he's ready and willing to take on the Boston Teacher's Union. Mr. Walsh sees the Teacher's Union as part of the solution for city schools, not part of the problem. He supports pre-kindergarten, and more vocational programs.
Some Boston voters will also be having their say tomorrow on a proposed casino at Suffolk Downs. For the candidates, this issue is a split pot. Mr. Walsh says he'd vote yes if he lived in East Boston, but Mr. Connolly won't say how he'd vote.
Public safety is a critical issue in every campaign, and this one's no different. Given Mr. Connolly's belief that schools can help increase public safety, he wants more law enforcement courses. He's also pushing community policing, which increases police contact with citizens, and he wants more diversity on the force.
Mr. Walsh also wants more diversity, and supports community policing; plus, he's targeting violence against women.
"The community needs to be a partner in working with the police department to solve some of the issues that we have on the street" said Mr. Walsh.
I don't know who's going to win tomorrow, but I do know this, whether it's Marty Walsh or John Connolly, big changes are coming to City Hall. Tomorrow, Boston as we know it becomes Boston as we knew it.