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Dianne Wilkerson’s son mulls council run

Dianne Wilkerson’s son mulls council run

By Christine McConville  |   Wednesday, December 29, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Politics

Photo by Angela Rowlings
The son of disgraced state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson — who’s mulling a run for convicted felon Chuck Turner’s open City Council seat — is already creating buzz in the Hub, and he hasn’t even officially thrown his hat into the ring.

Cornell D. Mills has said little about his plans, but he told that Herald last week he’s pulled papers for the Feb. 15 preliminary election to fill Turner’s former seat. The 70-year-old Turner is awaiting sentencing on a federal bribery conviction, as is Mills’ mother, the longtime Roxbury senator.

“I’m excited to see (Mills) emerge as a candidate and I think he’ll do very well,” said incoming state Rep. Carlos Henriquez. “He understands the political landscape in Boston and District 7.”

Added retired state Sen. Bill Owens: “I have met him several times, and he seems to be educated, articulate, and seems to have good common sense. He should be given an opportunity to earn his place in history.”

Mills, 36, spent his Christmas holiday assembling a campaign staff, gathering voter signatures and seeking endorsements, according to two neighborhood activists who requested anonymity. District 7 spans parts of Roxbury, Dorchester, the South End and the Fenway.

Mills’ candidacy won’t be official until tomorrow, when candidates must submit their nomination papers, including signatures from 191 registered voters.

The final two-person runoff is March 15.

Mills is a licensed real estate broker who attended Boston College High School and ran a Jones Hill cafe with his cousin.

In 2005, Mills made his own headlines when he landed a job as a civilian investigator with the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office homicide division despite his lengthy arrest record.

The Boston Globe reported in 2005 that Mills was busted four times between 1991 and 2000 on an array of charges, from assaulting a police officer to possessing marijuana. All the charges were ultimately dismissed. Wilkerson decried the Globe article as a smear based on inaccurate information.

At least 15 people, including Mills, have pulled papers for the seat. Turner has named Tito Jackson, an aide to Gov. Deval Patrick, as his preferred successor.

Jamarhl Crawford, editor of the neighborhood political Web site Blackstonian.com, believes the race will come down to Jackson and Mills “because they have the highest level of name recognition.”

One veteran City Hall observer said Mills just might have the edge.

“The district may feel sorry for him,” said Joseph Slavet, former head of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. “Sometimes voters, when they feel sorry for somebody, they might say, ‘Well, why don’t we give him a chance?’ ”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/politics/view.bg?articleid=1305962

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