clearn.png
Saturday September 25th, 2021 11:10PM

Boston preliminary mayoral election set to usher in new era

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BOSTON (AP) — Boston was narrowing its field of mayoral hopefuls for the first time to two people of color, possibly both women — a stark change from the unbroken string of white men elected mayor in the city’s first 200 years.

Voters cast ballots in a preliminary mayoral election that will select two contenders from a field of five main candidates, all of whom are people of color, four of them women. Tuesday's two winners will face off against each other on Nov. 2, ushering in a new era for the city which has wrestled with racial and ethnic strife.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey; City Councilors Annissa Essaibi George, Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu; and John Barros, the city’s former economic development chief, were all vying to be one of the top contenders.

Wu and Essaibi George told supporters Tuesday night they were the top two vote-getters, despite less than 1% of votes officially tallied, and both Janey and Campbell conceded defeat. The Associated Press has not yet called the winners because only a tiny amount of the vote has been counted.

Janey had already made history, becoming the first Black Bostonian and first woman to occupy the city’s top office in an acting capacity after former Mayor Marty Walsh stepped down earlier this year to become President Joe Biden’s labor secretary.

“I want to congratulate Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi-George on their victories this evening," Janey said in a statement. “This was a spirited and historic race, and I wish them both luck in the final election.”

All of the candidates are Democrats. Mayoral races in Boston do not include party primaries.

The candidates hail from a range of backgrounds. Wu’s parents immigrated to the United States from Taiwan. Janey and Campbell are Black. Essaibi George describes herself as a first generation Arab-Polish American. Barros is of Cape Verdean descent.

Wu has held a lead over the other top four candidates in a number of recent polls, setting up a scramble among the other contenders for the second spot if Wu’s lead holds.

Wu, who grew up in Chicago and moved to Boston to attend Harvard University and Harvard Law School, is the only candidate who wasn’t born in the city.

Boston has changed radically since the 1970s, when the city found itself in the national spotlight over the turmoil brought on by school desegregation, and in the late 1980s, when the case of Charles Stuart again inflamed simmering racial tensions.

Stuart is believed to have shot and killed his pregnant wife in 1989 while trying to blame the killing on an unknown Black man, prompting police to search Black neighborhoods in vain for a suspect. Stuart later jumped to his death from a bridge.

The latest U.S. Census statistics show residents who identify as white make up 44.6% of the population compared to Black residents (19.1%), Latino residents (18.7%) and residents of Asian descent (11.2%).

The city has also changed politically.

In 2018, former Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley defeated longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano to become the first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts. That same year, Rachael Rollins, a former federal prosecutor, won election to become Boston’s first female district attorney and the first woman of color to hold such a job anywhere in Massachusetts. In July, she was nominated by Biden to become the state’s top federal prosecutor.

Among the challenges facing the city are those brought on by gentrification, which has forced out many long-term residents, including those in historically Black neighborhoods.

Added to that are a host of other challenges that will face the new mayor, from transportation woes, racial injustice and policing to schools and the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most pressing issues is the cost of housing, which is outpacing the financial means of many tenants and prospective homeowners.

There have been moments of controversy during the campaign.

Janey was faulted for invoking slavery and lies about Barack Obama’s citizenship pushed by Donald Trump when discussing New York’s effort to require people to prove they’ve been vaccinated before entering indoor public settings.

She later walked back the comparisons, saying “I wish I had not used those analogies.”

Essaibi George has also found herself under scrutiny after The Boston Globe reported her city council office tried to undermine a building project that would have blocked the view of a luxury condominium building owned by her husband.

Essaibi George later said her husband’s name never came up in the municipal hearings and she only became aware of his involvement after being quizzed by reporters.

The contest is also the first preliminary election in the city’s history to allow mail-in voting. The contest also allowed for early voting last week.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Biden turns to Colorado to pitch investments in clean energy
President Joe Biden is preparing to pitch his massive domestic spending package with a visit to a renewable energy lab in Colorado
1:21AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Boston preliminary mayoral election set to usher in new era
Boston is on the cusp of narrowing its field of mayoral hopefuls for the first time to two people of color, possibly both women
1:10AM ( 29 minutes ago )
Once inmates, Taliban now in charge in a Kabul prison
Kabul's main prison was once crowded with thousands of Taliban captured or arrested by the government during Afghanistan's long war
1:09AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Democrats seek corporate, wealthy tax hikes for $3.5T plan
House Democrats have unveiled a sweeping proposal for tax hikes on big corporations and the wealthy to fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan
12:13AM ( 1 hour ago )
5 things to look for in California's gubernatorial recall
The California recall is the first major election since Joe Biden became president, and its results may hint at the political trajectory of the country
12:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden: Results of California recall will be felt nationally
President Joe Biden is putting the stakes of the recall election that could remove California Gov. Gavin Newsom from office in stark terms
11:36PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Norway's center-left heads to victory in general elections
The center-left bloc in Norway seems to have won Monday’s general election
6:11PM ( 7 hours ago )
Conservative PM concedes defeat as in Norway's elections
Conservative Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has conceded defeat in Norway’s general election as the Scandinavian country swings leftward
5:49PM ( 7 hours ago )
Norway's center-left gains after vote; climate is key issue
The center-left bloc in Norway seems to have won Monday’s general election
3:56PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Elections
Newsom, GOP rivals seek votes in recall's final weekend
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his Republican rivals are making their final pitches to voters as the recall against the governor winds to a close
9:26PM ( 2 days ago )
In the GOP, voter ID is a slam dunk ... except in Nebraska
Conservative activists in Nebraska are turning to voters to enact a voter identification requirement, an issue that state lawmakers have blocked multiple times even though it's now common in other Republican-led states
7:01PM ( 2 days ago )
GOP group held 'war games' for state AGs before Trump loss
An offshoot of the Republican Attorneys General Association held a special meeting weeks before the election to discuss its strategies if then-President Donald Trump lost
1:59PM ( 3 days ago )
General Election News
Biden turns to Colorado to pitch investments in clean energy
President Joe Biden is preparing to pitch his massive domestic spending package with a visit to a renewable energy lab in Colorado
1:21AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Once inmates, Taliban now in charge in a Kabul prison
Kabul's main prison was once crowded with thousands of Taliban captured or arrested by the government during Afghanistan's long war
1:09AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Push for Native American curriculum in schools makes gains
Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history
1:08AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Carr's TD pass caps Raiders rally past Ravens 33-27 in OT
Derek Carr threw a 31-yard TD pass to Zay Jones after the Raiders squandered their first possession of overtime, beating the Baltimore Ravens 33-27 in the team’s first game with fans in Las Vegas
1:08AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Giants clinch playoff spot, thump Padres 9-1 for 8th in row
The San Francisco Giants became the first major league team to clinch a playoff spot this season, hitting four home runs to beat the San Diego Padres 9-1 on Monday night for their season-high eighth consecutive victory
12:47AM ( 52 minutes ago )