NU’s Tobin rules out mayoral run

April 4, 2013
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John Tobin, a former city councilor and now Northeastern University’s vice president for community and governmental outreach, has ruled out running for mayor this year, despite his lifelong dream of doing so.

“Everything is timing in life. If this was two-and-a-half years ago, three years ago, I’m on the ballot,” Tobin said in a Gazette interview today. “Perhaps I’ll run for mayor sometime, but it won’t be this time.”

Tobin long represented part of Mission Hill as the District 6 city councilor and, before getting the NU job in 2010, once vowed to run in 2013 no matter what. He previously told the Gazette that the Boston Mayor’s Office was his dream job and that, as a schoolboy, he wrote “Tobin for Mayor” on his notebooks.

But now, Tobin said, he enjoys his NU position—he has referred to himself as the “city councilor for Northeastern”—as well as his moonlighting as the operator of downtown comedy clubs. He also enjoys having time to spend with his family, he said.

Tobin said he is not supporting any mayoral candidates at this time, but he is friendly with most of the major ones. He did offer some advice for current and potential candidates.

“I think you have to be in [the race] this week. You can’t let another weekend go,” Tobin said. “People are jumping in camps now. People are wrapping people up [as supporters].”

Good campaigns will be a mix of “old and new school,” he said. The old school will be door-to-door campaigning. “Nothing beats looking someone in the eye and asking them for a vote,” he said. The new school is “using social media wisely in terms of ID-ing votes,” he added.

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