By Michelle Jay
BU News Service
ROXBURY — From behind me, a lone man starts chanting.
“John! John! John!”
My head whips around to see a middle-aged man in a suit front and center, though behind the rope separating press from general attendees. All his attention is on the man on stage, paying no attention to my camera or the fact that I am merely inches away from him.
Stephen Scapicchio of East Boston thrusts his fist in the air, a la John Bender at the end of “The Breakfast Club.” He continues to raise his fist with every chant of Connolly’s name at the mayoral candidate’s election night party at Hibernian Hall. Before long, the people around him join in, and, soon enough, it seems the whole room of nearly 200 people are chanting.
On stage, John Connolly looks in awe and appreciation at the supporters screaming his name. Connolly is mid-speech after coming in second in the September 24 preliminary election for mayor of Boston. He will advance to the November 5 general election, meaning another six weeks of campaigning for him, his team and his supporters—many of who are here tonight.
Scapicchio holds his spot after Connolly finishes his speech, hooting and hollering with the rest of the crowd as the man he hopes will become the next mayor of Boston embraces his family and friends on stage.
I turn to him and smile. In his excitement, he throws his arms around me in a hug. His friends around him laugh at my nervous reaction to the sudden embrace. He is understandably excited. He says he has been supporting Connolly since the beginning, since his days running for city councilor-at-large. He says he believes in Connolly and what he can bring to the city.
The energy he exudes mirrors the energy he seems to find in Connolly, talking about the candidate’s youthfulness, excitement and fresh take. His speech is rushed. His voice is loud, both in excitement and to be heard over the buzz of the crowd and music still pumping through the speakers.
He takes a breath, still smiling. He looks resolved. With a final shake of my hand, he disappears into the dispersing crowd, ready for the next six weeks.
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