Who is hosting the 2018 St. Patrick's Day breakfast in South Boston?
Massachusetts state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry's departure for a job at Suffolk Construction shocked lawmakers and close political watchers at the Statehouse.
As talk quickly turned to who will replace her through an upcoming special election, another pressing question surfaced: Who will host the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast/roast in South Boston?
The long-running breakfast, which takes place the same day as the St. Patrick's Day parade and has been around in some form since the 1930s, is set for Sunday, March 18.
The event will get two hosts this year. Congressman Stephen Lynch and City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty, both South Boston Democrats, are stepping in, according to an aide to former Sen. Dorcena Forry. WGBH News first reported the names of the co-hosts.
Dorcena Forry, the daughter of Haitian-American immigrants, was the first woman of color to host the breakfast.
"The St. Patrick's Day Breakfast has become a neighborhood tradition, and with the unanticipated resignation of Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, Councilor Mike Flaherty and I have agreed to pinch hit and co-host this year's breakfast," Lynch said in a statement issued late Wednesday night. "Senator Dorcena Forry did a terrific job as host, and I thank her for her work on behalf of the South Boston community."
The breakfast traditionally draws the heavy hitters in Massachusetts politics and features attempts at topical humor. ("Groans Outpace Guffaws" said one headline from Getty Images in 2015.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh are among the elected officials who have taken the stage and tuned each other up in front of the crowd that normally packs the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
This year, the breakfast is being held inside the Ironworkers Local 7 Union Hall.
The breakfast has often been hosted by the state senator from the district that includes South Boston. The roster of past includes William Bulger, who has served as state Senate president and president of the University of Massachusetts system. He is the brother of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.
Lynch, a former ironworker who served as state senator before his election to Congress in 2001, hosted the breakfast after William Bulger. Lynch is up for re-election this year.
Flaherty is the son of a former state representative. A former prosecutor, he served on the Boston City Council for 10 years before running for mayor in 2009 and returning to the council in 2013.
He is considering a run for the job of Suffolk District Attorney after Dan Conley announced earlier this week he isn't running for another term this year.