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Boston Mayoral Hopefuls Take High Road

BOSTON residents will go to the polls tomorrow in the city's first open mayoral election in a decade, called after former Mayor Raymond Flynn left office in July to become United States ambassador to the Vatican.

In a surprisingly quiet campaign in a city known for its feisty ethnic rivalries, voters may well elect their first non-Irish mayor since 1929.

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Indeed, polls show Italian-American Acting Mayor Thomas Menino holding the lead over his Irish-American rival, state Rep. James Brett. Endorsed by both the Boston Herald and Boston Globe, Mr. Menino has benefited from his high-profile role as acting mayor.

Twelve-year state legislator Brett, on the other hand, promises to bring fresh ideas to City Hall but has failed to cut into Menino's lead.

Both candidates have taken the political high road in a campaign free of personal attacks. In a debate last week, Representative Brett scored points after he told a reporter he found his question ``insulting'' when asked if he thought himself more intelligent and articulate than his opponent. Candidates also debated a stalled teachers contract, gun control, and financial disclosure of city employees.

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