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Menino Surprised By Voter Turnout, Will Support Walsh

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BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Tom Menino now knows who will succeed him after 20 years in City Hall.

Menino met with Mayor-elect Marty Walsh in his office Wednesday, hours after Walsh defeated John Connolly in Tuesday’s election.

Menino shot down reports that there’s been a long rift between himself and Walsh.

“There’s people out there who want to have us fight with each other. They were trying to drag me into the campaign by saying certain things about me. I’ve kept my cool in the whole thing and I’ll continue to do that because this is about the city and Marty and I go back a lot of years,” the mayor told reporters.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

Menino spoke to WBZ NewsRadio 1030 producer Matt Ledin early Wednesday morning to talk about Walsh’s win and what he thought about the East Boston casino defeat.

What do you think about the outcome of the mayor’s race?

“The people of Boston spoke and it was an interesting election. But, only 38-percent of the people voted which I’m surprised at because both candidates were out there on the issues and worked hard at this election, but still, people didn’t turn out for this election once again, which is too bad because this is a person who’s going to govern the city for the next four years.

“I think Marty Walsh did a great job of bringing coalitions together that never existed in the city of Boston before and a new day has come to Boston and I’m going to be out there supporting the new mayor and what he does for the next four years.”

You were saying how this vote went from neighborhood to neighborhood, street to street?

“Regular voting patterns did not exist in this election. When we looked at those numbers last night all night long, one precinct next to another one, one would be Walsh, one would be with Connolly and it’s a different city today than it was when I started 20 years ago. That’s good for Boston, Boston’s changed and the voting patterns of Boston have changed also.

Read: Keller: Election Winners, Losers

“We have to be out there supporting Marty Walsh as he goes forward. The city’s bigger than all of us and we all have to make sure that we continue to move the city forward and I think Marty will have that ability.

Do you remember your first election win?

“I sure do. I remember that night vividly in 1993. Those days, you always remember those days, the highlights of your life. Now I remember last night also that a chapter in the city of Boston is closed and another chapter’s opened up. I think Marty Walsh has the energy to move this city forward and reach out to other people to help him make the city work for all of the people, not some of the people.”

It’s pretty certain Mayor-elect Walsh will lean on you for some support.

“We’ll talk about the transition and what we’re going to do with the transition and how I can be helpful to him to educate his new team on what city government’s all about and how it works and that’s going to be important that we work together over the next several weeks to make sure that on January 6th Mayor Walsh will be able to move the city forward and have ideas and put them forward to the public of Boston.”

“We’re going to talk about how we do the transition, what accommodations we’ll make for him and things like that. The next several weeks are very important to make sure that the new administration gets off and continues to move the city forward.”

Were you surprised by the East Boston Casino vote?

“No, I saw that vote coming because the uncertainty of who is going to be the organization that’s going to run the actual casino. It was unfortunate that they did not find another operator before the election. People weren’t going to vote on a chance, they wanted to know for certain who was going to be the operator of the casino. It went down pretty well and the people have spoken and we’ll move on to other things.”

“If it ends up in Revere, we’re a surrounding community and we’ll get some benefits, but not the benefits that we negotiated in the host community agreement, which is the best host community agreement negotiated in any city in America. The people have spoken and now let’s go forward. I’m not a guy to hold grudges or anything and we move forward. I believe all these things happen for the good and we’ll see what happens.”

Did your man win Tuesday night?

“I’m not going to say (who I voted for). But I’ll just tell you, the people of Boston won last night. They elected a young man who has a lot of energy and has a vision to move this city forward and I think Boston was a winner last night.”

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