In Newton, A Chilly Reception For Mayor Warren's Senate Bid

By Adam Reilly

May 11, 2011

Watch: Setti Warren defends his Senate bid on Greater Boston

BOSTON — Newly minted U.S. Senate Candidate Setti Warren kicked off his Senate campaign on Tuesday, then head to New Bedford and Brockton to get started. The Newton mayor will have to travel plenty in the coming months to raise a statewide profile that’s almost nonexistent.
But Warren’s newfound interest in higher office is getting a chilly reception in his hometown.
When Setti Warren kicked off his US Senate bid at an American Legion hall on Tuesday, he received an enthusiastic response, with a large crowd applauding an announcement speech bespeaking Democratic values.
But here in Newton Highlands, Warren’s senatorial bid got an almost frosty reception.
“I think it’s a mistake career-wise for him,” said one Newtonian.
“I’m very disappointed. Thought he would be there for at least one full term,” said another.
Newton Tab and Wicked Local Newton publisher Greg Reibman says that while Newton residents like Warren, it’s no wonder they’re bristling.
“There’s a feeling that this is way to soon. And even as the mayor admits he did say to people he would stick around. He did say he would do a full term and maybe even more,” Reibman said.
Reibman adds that Warren has already done some good things as mayor, like bringing the controversial Newton North high school project to fruition. Now, though, Warren has to negotiate with the city’s unions -- and that just got a whole lot trickier.
“There’s 11 city contracts open. And here’s a guy who’s running for a democratic nomination,” Reibman said. “So there’s a big concern: Can he negotiate union contracts – municipal contracts and the teacher contracts – with integrity without also trying to appease the unions too much?”
In the end, Reibman predicts many Newton residents will get over their initial disappointment, especially if Warren’s Senate bid takes off. But based on the early reaction, that may take a while.

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