Timothy McCarthy, the city councilor representing Boston’s District 5 (Hyde Park, Roslindale, and parts of Mattapan) decided to vacate his seat over last year’s Christmas holidays.

“Life is kinda short,” McCarthy recounted. “Coming home at 9 o’clock, wound up from a development meeting because somebody called you XYZ, and spilling my aggravation on [my wife’s] plate was probably not that fair,” he said, remembering some of the harder days of the job. “I woke up one morning Christmas break, and said to my wife, ‘I’m done.’”

McCarthy advised his successor to develop thick skin, and “always return your phone calls. Even if you can’t stand the person.”

Next week, voters in District 5 will whittle down a crowded field. The eight candidates are seeking to replace McCarthy. The area is emblematic of Boston’s shifting demographics. Many of the candidates point to minority population increases, arguing the district should be represented by a person of color.

In the 1990s, Hyde Park and Roslindale were predominately white. Then, between 2000 and 2010, Hyde Park’s white population decreased by 12 percent, while its black and Latino populations increased by 7 and 5 percent, respectively. Mattapan remained predominately black, and Roslindale went from 17 percent Latino to 23 percent, and 2.3 percent Asian/Pacific Islander to 3 percent.

Here’s a look at the candidates seeking to occupy McCarthy’s seat.

First-time candidate Cecily Graham is a Black-American born to Haitian and Jamaican parents. “Not having that voice on the council affects us. The perspective that is needed really isn’t there right now to inform the policies that affect our lives the most.” Graham, 30, works as an elementary school teacher and is a Hyde Park resident. She has raised about $2,000. Asked what pressing issue she’s like to address for the district, she said school funding policies.

Three-time candidate Jean Claude Sanon is an immigrant from Haiti who said he’s running to advocate for the District’s immigrant community. “Whether you like it or not, the diversity has been growing strongly,” he said. “We need someone who can bring people together and really try to defend the interests of all, not just interests of the few.”

Sanon, 60, owns Avant Garde Multi Services, a translation and consulting agency. He came close to winning the District 5 council seat when he ran against the outgoing McCarthy in 2013. At that time, he received 44 percent of ballots cast, but hasn’t come as close since. Asked what’s different this third attempt, Sanon said there’s no incumbent, and he believes people know him.

“I have been consistent. My resiliency has proven the fact that I’m someone who’s really eager to take the job, and to do the job the way it’s supposed to be done,” Sanon said. This year, he has raised about $7,000. Asked what pressing issue he’d like to address, Jean Claude Sanon said crime.

“The district has changed,” said Alkia Powell, a Hyde Park resident and first-time candidate. But, Powell added, “It’s not about what color and race you come from. It’s about the ability to be humble and compassionate and work and fight hard for our neighbors.”

Powell, 45, resigned from her job in the Office of Economic Development in June to focus on her candidacy. So far, she has raised about $12,000. Her chief issue for the district is housing.

Maria Esdale-Farrell, 49, who works as an education liaison to the incumbent councilor said her job has helped her learn “what the role is of a city councilor better than anybody else,” over the last five years. The Hyde Park native has leveraged her neighborhood roots to raise about $30,000 since organizing her campaign in March. Still, she told WGBH News fundraising as a public employee – who is prohibited from asking for money – has been a challenge.

“I’m really proud that I’ve been able to get stuff done without compromising that,” said Esdale-Farrell, explaining that she makes phone calls and sends links to her website without explicitly asking for money. Heading into the preliminary, she has McCarthy’s support and about $7,000 in the bank. Esdale-Farrell is a first-time candidate. Her top pressing issue for the district is transportation.

Two-time candidate Justin Murad said his chief issue would also be transportation “Because the MBTA needs to held accountable, and there are a lot MBTA users in the district.” Murad, 24, works as a paralegal in the city’s law department and is a resident of Hyde Park. Murad has raised close to $700 this campaign cycle. He told WGBH News he’s hoping his spot at the top of Tuesday’s ballot will give him an advantage.

Ricardo Arroyo, said as a city councilor, he could expand on his work as a public defender. “Being a councilor allows me to address those bigger systemic issues, that really, for me, were plaguing all of my clients.”

Arroyo, 31, whose brother and father are former council members, has raised about $87,000 since declaring his candidacy last December. Arroyo has received endorsements from The Bay State Banner and The Boston Globe. He is also well-positioned to continue a campaign should he advance to the general election in November. Arroyo has a war chest of $39,000, more than any other candidate in the district race.

Arroyo admitted his family legacy has been helpful in connecting with voters, but added he is working to build a reputation for himself. “People are learning the ways in which I am like my father,” he said “and the ways that I am my own person.”

If Arroyo could address a single issue for District 5, it would be housing – specifically by moving rent-burdened people towards home ownership with a program funded by a vacancy tax.

Mimi Turchinetz, 59, is an attorney and works in the Mayor’s Office of Financial Empowerment. The Hyde Park resident has run for the seat once before in 2013. She told WGBH News this race “feels much more visible” since there is no mayoral contest to divert attention from neighborhood concerns.

Born in Mattapan, Turchinetz said she goes by the name Mimi in tribute to her late mother. She's raised about $47,000 this year, $10,000 of which she loaned herself. One of the key issues she’d like address is community control of development.

Yves Mary Jean, 37, said he’s running for the seat because he believes the district needs “progressive leadership.” In a brief interview with WGBH News, the Roslindale-based poet said he decided against hosting fundraising events, because local elections shouldn’t be determined “by how many thousands of dollars are raised. It should be about who’s connecting with voters.” The $1,200 he has raised comes largely from his own pocket. Mary Jean is also a first-time candidate.