And then there were two. Bostonians- either by enthusiastic support or couldn’t- get- to- the- polls apathy- have narrowed the field of 12 mayoral candidates to John Connolly and Marty Walsh. They have six weeks to convince voters to hire one of them for the top job. 

Some of the 10 candidates who didn’t win last Tuesday will return to the work they had before. But most, like Boston City Councilors Rob Consalvo and Mike Ross, and agency head John Barros must seek new opportunities. 

Throughout the campaign many noted the intellectual strength of the candidates pool. While moderating one of the mayoral forums I was struck by the depth of knowledge, the commitment, and especially the new ideas offered by most.

Why let their talent go to waste? If there ever was a time Boston could use a few more hands on deck, it’s now at this momentous transition in leadership.

So, I’m adding my voice to a growing chorus suggesting the new mayor take a page from President Abe Lincoln and build what Boston historian Doris Kearns Goodwin described as a team of rivals.

In her book of the same name, Kearns Goodwin chronicled President Lincoln’s strategy of building his cabinet with the four men who were his fiercest competitors.

It wasn’t easy, some of the four didn’t even like Lincoln, let alone respect Lincoln at first. And our current President hasn’t had an easy time building his own team of rivals.

However, both prospective Boston mayors Connolly and Walsh have positive relationships with their former competitors; they’ve said they are open to implementing certain of their ideas. So why not go one step further and name the idea-makers to significant leadership positions in government?

Wouldn’t it be great if city residents knew that whether Walsh or Connelly wins in November, he would not go it alone, but would lead a team of smart people, even if they were once rivals?

Now that would be the mark of a world-class city.