South Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast, once a mandatory stop on any Beacon Hill politician's schedule, will be absent several key figures this year.
Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray, who showed up at last year's breakfast in a racing helmet and jacket to spoof his death-defying high-speed car crash, will be a no show, reports Boston.com.
“It’s the LG’s anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day,” said spokesman Scott Ferson. “He hasn’t always had the opportunity to avoid public appearances, but he’s taking advantage of that opportunity this year to spend time with his wife.”
Governor Deval Patrick will also miss the event, but will appear on video for the second year in a row.
“I’m going to be out of town; that’s all I’ve got to say,” the governor said on WGBH-radio on Thursday.
And although Senate President Therese Murray has been a regular attendee, she has to be in the district this year, said her spokesman, David Falcone.
However, seats won't be empty as Mayor Thomas M. Menino, his challenger, Councilor John Connolly and newly elected Senator Elizabeth Warren will all be in attendance.
In the midst of a campaign year, the breakfast can be a boost to a politician facing reelection. But this is a non-election year.
“Politicians go to events all the time where it’s work,” said Ferson. “And I think this is work, as opposed to the social occasion it was back in the day.”
South Boston’s state senator traditionally hosts the event, but Councilor Bill Linehan of South Boston will temporarily take the reins from Senator John A. Hart, Jr., who left the Legislature earlier this year.
The breakfast will be broadcast live on New England Cable News, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday.