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Commentary: Vote Thursday, Sept. 8 for 7th Suffolk District

Melvin B. Miller
Commentary: Vote Thursday, Sept. 8 for 7th Suffolk District
Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association President Louis Elisa introduces candidates Marydith Tuitt, Chyna Tyler and Monica Cannon during a debate at the 12th Baptist Church Tuesday.

The candidates’ night on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at Twelfth Baptist Church provided an opportunity for residents to hear the three candidates for the open seat in Roxbury for state representative. Gloria Fox has held that office in the 7th Suffolk District since 1985, and has decided to retire. Whoever wins the Sept. 8 election will likely become the community’s representative on Beacon Hill.

The candidates are Marydith Tuitt, Fox’s chief of staff; Chynah Tyler, a former aide to Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz; and Monica Cannon, a youth worker and community activist. While their positions on issues were generally similar, there was one notable distinction. Only Cannon’s literature indicated prominent endorsements.

There is much debate on whether endorsements have much value in a political campaign. Who knows how many votes they will bring? But one thing is clear. The candidate with significant endorsements has already established alliances that will be helpful in getting things done when in office. It is indeed significant that Cannon’s performance has been outstanding enough to earn the endorsements of Sheriff Steve Tompkins, City Councillor Tito Jackson, the Rev. Liz Walker and a number of labor unions.

With some effort, perhaps Tuitt and Tyler can attain the support among community leaders that Cannon has already attained. But among those who are anxious for progress now, there will probably be an inclination to support Cannon, the candidate who is already ahead in mobilizing support with important office holders.