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Historic election set for November

Wu and Essaibi George

Wu and Essaibi George

Updated, 7:45 am.

Bostonians in November will choose the city's first elected woman mayor, after they voted for at-large councilors Michelle Wu and Anissa Essaibi George in yesterday's preliminary.

Results were slow to come in - as of 11:45 pm., They city had not reported any numbers, leaving mayoral and city-coincil candidates to rely on results posted by poll watchers at individual precincts - even as Associated Press was able to declare the results in California, where polls closed three hours later.

The November election could show whether Boston voters are in a progressive mood, if they elect Wu, or a more moderate mood if they election Essaibi George.

Essaibi George did very well in the predominantly White sections of Dorchester. The Dorchester Reporter reports she won Ward 16, precinct 12, which votes at Florian Hall, with 593 votes. Wu came in second there with just 47 votes. But Wu won East Boston and even one precinct in Charlestown and showed strength in other parts of the city.

Despite the lack of official numbers, Wu claimed one of the two November slots at Distraction Brewing in Roslindale.

Together, we have and will continue to take on the big challenges we were told would be impossible—from passing paid parental leave to standing up to big corporations to protect rental housing. But we have always believed that more is possible. And now is the time for all of us to lead.

I want to thank the historic field of candidates both for their campaigns and their long records of incredible work in our communities. I look forward to the next stage of this campaign and continuing our fight for the future of our city.

Essaibi George danced into her party around 11:45 p.m.

I’ve been showing up for all our neighborhoods to hear your voices, your stories, successes and struggles...

When you’re struggling to afford rent, buy a house, and lay down roots in the city you love.

When your child relies on school for their healthy meals, and there’s a snow day.

When you see the cycle of violence and trauma play out on the sidewalks in front of your home.

When your brother, sister, uncle, parent struggles with substance use disorder and you can’t get them a bed.

When your neighborhood needs more trees, less potholes, better parks, and reliable transit.

I hear you. Loud and clear. Every day.

Campbell addressed her supporters, but Janey decided not to show up and everybody at her party just went home. She later did issue a concession statement.

Campbell (Dorchester) and Janey won some precincts in their home districts, where, however, turnout was generally lower than elsewhere. John Barros actually won at least one precinct but elsewhere trailed far, far behind.

In the at-large council race, John Spillane, making his first run for elective office after working as an aide to district Councilor Kenzie Bok, said he had secured one of the eight slots to run for the four open seats in the November final. Ruthzee Louijeune, also making her first run, said she will likely finish third. Second-time candidates Erin Murphy and David Halbert also look to have made it to November. Incumbents Michael Flaherty and Julia Mejia also looked to have won spots. Joining them: Bridget Nee-Walsh and, of course, perennial candidate Althea Garrison.

In District 4 (Dorchester, Mattapan), Brian Worrell and former state Rep. Evandro Carvalho will advance.

In District 6 (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill), Kendra Hicks of Jamaica Plain declared she came in first, followed by Mary Tamer of West Roxbury, so they will face off in November. Winnie Eke was eliminated.

In District 7 (Roxbury), Tania Anderson said she came in first, ensuring she continues to November. Perennial loser Roy Owens is looking like he'll also advance, coming in second by a few votes over Angie Camacho.

In District 9 (Allston/Brighton), incumbent Liz Breadon, who got more than 70% of the vote, will face Michael Bianchi.


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If either Wu or Essaibi-George wins, they will be the first elected female mayor. Yes, Janey was acting, and yes, it looks like the voters didn't like the act, but she was the first female mayor.


My whole thing with the “acting” Mayor/Governor etc is day-to-day, the job isn’t any easier with acting affixed to the title. All the daily respsibilites, duties, and blame iare the exact same. Covid response and opening schools safely doesn’t get easier. When a grandma gets shot on her porch in gang crossfire, facing the family and the neighborhood gets no easier. Mass and Cass doesn’t magically become less difficult with neither an acting nor an elected mayor. And we all know that NONE of Janey’s critics would ever give her a break or perhaps grade her on a curve since she was, after all, acting mayor and not the “real” mayor.

I mean, it’s the same job with the same demands attracting the same scrutiny and absorbs the same criticisms, both fair and exaggerated. Personally, I’m not compelled by the argument some make “well, she made some mad at City Hall and in the Council by dropping ‘acting’ from her title”; I don’t work at city hall so I don’t give a shit. But a vocal group of pedants across Boston comment sections and social media were oh so mad that the person doing the daily labor of Mayor of Boston called herself the mayor as if she was illegitimate. Like, who, beyond Campbell, Wu, Essaibi George, et al gives a shit?

The system worked as it should. I think Janey is smart and accomplished, but she is not a talented communicator. I don’t think Janey was best for the job, but some of the vitriol I saw directed at Janey (mostly elsewhere) was disturbingly psychotic. And they often had to make a dig the acting title.

(NB: I am not talking about journalists or Adam whose style guides require that Mayor Janey be labeled as acting at the top of the story,)


The way Kim Janey got the keys to the office was through 3,856 votes from District 7 and however many votes she needed from the 13 City Councillors to become Council President. Marty Walsh, by contrast, won re-election in 2017 with 70,197 votes. Give credit to Acting Mayor Janey for handling the duties as well as she has, but you've got to win the votes to be the Mayor.


Like I said, the system worked as it should and Boston got to have its say.

If the implication is that “most Bostonians didn’t vote for Janey”, then that is also true of Walsh. 70k representatives ~13% of the population at legal voting age, meaning 87% of the city did not vote to re-elect Walsh. It’s not a super persuasive argument to say that a small percentage of Bostonians voted for Janey when a slightly-less-small percentage of Bostonians voted for Walsh in a city where Joe Biden garnered 225k votes.


I'd think most voters didn't care about the "acting" and part saw her as the Mayor. They just didn't like the job she was doing. Her initial position on C19 might have doomed her chances.

In retrospect she might have done better if she embraced the title of Acting Mayor and said she'd wait until being elected Mayor to really take on the job.

It should also go without saying that the outcome most likely would have been different if RCV was used.


I think people cared that she was making big swings at long term things when her job was supposed to be just keep the ship moving. When she was on the national press circuit , puffing up her title and starting fights it was a weird look. Most voters did not know who she was. Even worse things did not go as planned on the ground. Even if all of that was not her fault it is easy for a voter to see what is happening on the ground, see her on MSNBC and conclude that she is too busy with her own national tour to focus on the local streets.

Her quotes about vaccine mandates were weird. Her sneakers were odd to older and white voters yet the color choice was insulting to younger and black voters who could not help but see the Lakers colors.

She reminded me of that young person at work that gets promoted because they have potential and energy and they immediately start to make huge changes. The excitement of a new young energetic middle manager fades as petty fights with long term workers set to retire in 6 months causes regret to set in. They so desperately wanted to be seen and bought into their own aura so much that they forgot to pay attention to the basics.

Not to mention the way her campaign and associates treated her fellow Black councilor. The woman who was already in the race. Who was running because it was time not because she happened to be in a chair when the music stopped. The irony is the Janey people were going to blame Campbell for taking away some voters but it looks like it is the other way around.


Imagine putting that work in and then getting told to just sit down by a lot of the older black political establishment in the city. Good for her to not do it, sucks for her how it all ended up. I can't really blame Janey for trying though - it was a golden opportunity.

It's an interesting thing with mayoral races that there's not the same level of plum jobs available for defeated rivals to come on board, like VP or a cabinet position. I'd bet Wu will bring Campbell in with some high value job promise in exchange for her support. They have a lot of overlapping views.

I think the acting mayor should be someone who is not going to compete in a general election next time around. Should have just had Flaherty or Edwards do the gig as a caretaker for 9 months.


I do wish that Janey had not run. Even as acting mayor she did not have the city-wide track record or name recognition of Wu and the other at-large councillors, so it was going to be an uphill battle to attract a significant number of voters outside of her district. So not only will she no longer be mayor, but my district is losing an experienced representative. And we get Essaibi-George instead of Campbell for the run-off.


In regards to the Wakanada II project, look at the names. Compare them to the people who were so upset with her when Yancey was unseated. I do not know what connection Janey has with that group but the group might have been looking for a way to keep Campbell from the seat. Campbell always seemed more popular with black voters than she was with long time black leaders. When Janey was presented as an option they saw a way they could have it both ways. I do not think they anticipated that Cambpell would stay her ground.


More like acting up!

The first female acting mayor of Boston was Louise Day Hicks. In 1976 she became Boston's first female City Council President. During her term, whenever Mayor Kevin White hopped a plane to Washington DC, vacationed on the Cape, or crossed the river to buy a fresh killed chicken, then by law the designation "acting mayor" fell on Councilor Hicks. The authoritative text in the city charter:

"Whenever the mayor is absent from the city or unable from any cause to perform his duties, and whenever there is a vacancy in the office of mayor from any cause, the president of the city council, while such absence, inability or vacancy continues, shall perform the duties of mayor. [...] The person upon whom such duties shall devolve shall be called “acting mayor” and he shall possess the powers of mayor only in matters not admitting of delay, but shall have no power to make permanent appointments."

Following the same rule, the first black, female acting mayor of Boston was Andrea Campbell.


That's my town!

When the Mayor leaves, on vacation or otherwise, the acting Mayor doesn’t get to hire or fire staff, use the office, the car, or make day to day decisions.

This is an asinine comparison to when a Mayor leaves for a few days as opposed to when the NO LONGER EXIST in the role and have resigned.

Please don’t traffic in this fallacy just to make a dig at Kim Janey. Its not just wrong its also intellectually dishonest.


At most, Janey would have been Mayor for 7 months -- not long enough to do much one way or another.

Now that she's a lame duck, it will be even more difficult for her to make any significant changes in her last 6 weeks.

Why does any of this matter?

There is a difference between believing that you know something others don't, actually knowing something that others may not, and anyone giving the slightest bit of fecal matter about any of it.


Candidates that grew up in the Whitest part of Dorchester who run for the mayor's office always comes out the overall winner , seems to be the norm nowadays.
This City will eternally remain racists !!!


The person who got the most votes by far is a Taiwanese-American woman from Chicago. Of the top four, two are Black. The total number of votes for Black candidates nearly doubles that of the White (or Whitest) woman in the race.

The men running got a dismal number of votes.

Boston might not be sending [another] Black Woman to City Hall, but this election was a seismic change in Boston's history. I didn't think this day would come so soon, honestly.


Wu is an American from Boston.

She may not have been born in Boston, but, again, who cares? She's been here long enough and invested enough in the city for any of that nonsense to matter.


She was born and raised in Chicago to Taiwanese immigrants and only came to Boston (Cambridge) for college at Harvard. If that makes her only American or Taiwanese-America can be debated although I think she identifies as the later.

I'm a supporter of Wu, not that it matters since I don't vote in Boston.

"Old" Boston tended to look at anyone from outside the city with distrust so it's that much more notable a native of Chicago took first place. It's a good sign that people like her stand a good chance of being elected Mayor.


Try not being from MA and doing...anything. This place is remarkably nativist.

this election was a seismic change in Boston's history

You're probably right, at least in a sense...but Boston is now barely over 50% white, so the change certainly shouldn't be "seismic", although I'm afraid you're right and it is.

What a dumbass take.

Collins- JP/Roxbury
White - JP
Flynn - Southie
Menino - Hyde Park
Walsh - Dorchester.

Janey fucked this up, no-one else.


Which I would assume means this election.

Of course, the candidate on the top is not from Dorchester, even though her precinct is probably a lot whiter than the candidate that came in second place, but let's not ruin their griping with facts.


Sorry Charlie ,
Mayor White was from West Roxbury a neighborhood that was once a strong hold in Boston politics . The old timers and their adults grandkids have moved on from West Roxbury to the leafy suburbs of the South Shore . Young families who can’t afford Chestnut hill in Newton are buying in West Roxbury .


I wrote myself in today, and I'll write myself in again in November.

*If Communist is defined as one who opposes the notion of private property, then yes, her anti-Airbnb stance qualifies her as one


There are unfortunately no communists running in this race. Read a book, man. She's a liberal, not a leftist.


When someone posts an asterisk next to something, it's a clue to the reader that they are to read the words beneath next to the asterisk for necessary additional context.

If a cat is defined as one who grows whiskers, then yes, the fact that I do this if I haven't shaved for a couple days qualifies me as one.

Like I said, read a book if you're interested in learning what communism actually is. If it was simply the opposition of private property, Marx probably could have summed it up in less than 3 volumes of Capital.




Yes, I probably should have thrown that clarification in there.

That thoughtless counter is well beneath you.

Seems like if you didn't like any of the candidates and thought you could do a better job, the thing to do would have been to do the work to organize a campaign and get yourself on the ballot. But of course, that's a lot harder than doing nothing and complaining that the people actually doing the work aren't doing it correctly.


Of what? Abusing people and taking their money to give to corporations?

You're simping for statism to the wrong guy.

What's your plan other than snarky comments on a local news blog?

That's honestly it.

"we've tried nothing, and we're all out of ideas"


At least at our precinct in Roslindale, a Flaherty poll worker was handing out some of the red-white-and-blue Flaherty emery boards that he must've bought an 18-wheeler's worth of back a couple of decades ago.


OK I’m not particularly a fan of the guy, but I gotta say, I love the domesticity. First he recorded that campaign video with his KitchenAid mixer, and now emery boards.


I predict his minions will be handing them out at the Roslindale Day parade on Oct. 3.


Who knew? None of these folks hand out emery boards in my district!


the big mixer with the lift bowl or the regular one with the tilt-top? I need these details.


I also want to know which color. Ice blue? Pistachio? Bird of Paradise?!

It was the standard tilt-top. It also was white, which really didn’t go with his dark wood and dark granite. Should have gone with cinnamon or perhaps persimmon.


Here in Eastie too.

I still have a Walsh potholder somewhere. Flimsiest, most useless thing I've ever seen. And I don't much care for the potholder either.


Wow Adam - That's a real zinger you let in there! Move over Lenny Clarke - The new king of Boston comedy has arrived and his name is Anon.


That comment must've stung.

The Walsh potholders were handed out in my district. They were tiny, like 5x5 square, and ended up in my kids' play kitchen.

Globe quotes Galvin as saying some 7,000 mail in & drop box votes just today: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/09/14/metro/only-few-hours-are-left-unt...

If Wu is out in front, and #2 is super close - mail in & drop box ballots could be the ‘queen maker’ for the second slot in November.


Globe backed Campbell all the way to nowhere..see ya!


Kendra Hicks declared victory in District 6 claiming an exact margin of 818 votes despite a precinct having a broken down machine and thousands of outstanding mail in ballots.

Magoo gets perturbed when one writes or sez “exact same” as in that apple is the exact same color as that fire truck. Based on Magoo’s study of language, proper English dictates that one either say that apple is the same color as that firetruck or the color of the apple and firetruck are exactomundo. Magoo.


Magoo gets perturbed when one writes or sez

The eternally vapid Magoo can get as perturbed as he wants over other people's use of language, but you're standing in a glass house chucking stones, pal.

to ghost her own post election party because she lost. I get it. Going to a party after a loss that was a personal referendum (for all the candidates) sounds terrible. However, it's one of those terrible things that you opt into by running so it's lame she didn't appear. I am assuming we'll hear to today that she was too busy running the city or something.

An interesting question is how she'll use her remaining weeks as acting mayor. She blew up the waterfront plans right quick, I could see a few more things like that coming.

Congrats to the top two.


An interesting question is how she'll use her remaining weeks as acting mayor.

I expect department heads, attorneys, and other officials at City Hall will be much more strict about "matters not admitting of delay" now that everyone is assured Janey will not become Mayor. They'll look for a nod from Wu and Essaibi-George before making any major changes that can wait until November.


Which of the other theoretical outcomes would be "non-historic"?

There were actually two White guys on the ballot.


Oh, I didn't follow this too closely. I see now. And btw, doesn't Boston Globe show Essaibi George in the 4th place as of now

Official results are reported at the precinct level. Candidate support varies greatly by precinct. The largest precincts tend to report later than the smaller precincts do.

That all means it's normal for the lead to fluctuate as partial results trickle in.

It's probably better to look at Boston.gov for results.

80% of the vote in. Annissa is in 4th. We all might have jumped the gun!

Latest number show Essaibi George back in second place.

What happened? Seems people in West Roxbury (and also Allston/Brighton) really went for drop-off votes and those were among the last counted. Look at the District 6 (West Roxbury, JP) race: An hour ago, Hicks was winning by some ludicrous amount, like 3,500 to 900. She still came in first, but now, with 100% of the votes in, the numbers are roughly 9,200 to 8,000.


Essaibi George did very well in the predominantly White sections of Dorchester.

Did Wu do very well in predominantly Chinese areas of the city?...etc.
Race obsession


“Why’s it always about race?” say the people who support the police, benefit from the stilted education system, segregationist building policies, have only ever voted for white men, and take great pride in their white Irish or Italian heritage. “What is it with you people, can’t you leave well enough alone?”


when it's convenient. Outwardly, she looks like just another white woman. A model minority and a "biracial when it's convenient" are the two presumed nominees who were up against two Black women. It's not obsession, its simply a fact


Is why its pointed out that she won predominantly white areas of Dorchester?

No, it's why in an election with 50% of the viable candidates being Black women, it ended up going to a model minority and a (by the paper bag test) white woman...bc things are never "about race" in this city...


Made the difference?

not *just* Dorchester. Feel better?


Please do not dismiss Michelle Wu, or any Asian American for that matter, as just "a model minority." That is casual racism as well, whether or not you intended it that way. It suggests that we are all just quiet, go along to get along types without our own interests--that we are just conformists. It is best to not generalize about any group.


not the candidate. I will continue to do so as I please

Anytime whiteness is mentioned or potentially racist behavior is pointed out, we can always count on you, like clockwork, to be first to log on with a “not everything is about race” or “that doesn’t mean it’s racist” type comment.

You ride so hard for dismissing and trivializing the notion that racism and white supremacy are pernicious forces in contemporary Amemrican life and, when challenged, your reply is to the effect of “I’m just stating my opinion; can’t people do that anymore?”

It appears to me that it’s not Adam who has the race obsession.


I'm surprised at the power of incumbency. I really didn't think people would vote for "5 car" or Meija.

Preliminary results as of 9:45am

MICHAEL F FLAHERTY 37,984 15.07%
JULIA MEJIA 34,990 13.88%
ERIN J MURPHY 21,313 8.46%
CARLA B MONTEIRO 16,856 6.69%
ALTHEA GARRISON 15,333 6.08%
DAVID HALBERT 15,244 6.05%
BRIDGET NEE-WALSH 14,033 5.57%
KELLY F BATES 11,599 4.60%
ALEXANDER J GRAY 10,412 4.13%
JON M SPILLANE 10,352 4.11%
SAID A ABDIKARIM 7,066 2.80%
DONNIE D. PALMER JR 5,861 2.33%
ROY A OWENS SR 5,048 2.00%
JAMES R.COLIMON 4,368 1.73%
NICK VANCE 3,594 1.43%

My apologies for the formatting. Can't figure out how to get the columns to line up.

I wish she came in first. Shake things up. :)


that Mejia got that many votes. According to the progressive narrative, I am a white male, and therefore a racist. I did my part and voted for Mike and Erin, along with Althea and Donnie.

Honestly curious: What did she do that makes you surprised people would vote for her?

1) Complained about the dirt bikers driving through the parks, etc... as not being heard.
2) Got her kid immediately into a learning pod with a special grant like the week after BPS closed up shop. She seems very much out for # 1.

She's not bad, just meh, I just think there's a lot of flash and posturing and not a lot of policy ideas there. I'm not her target audience though, so I think that's fine by her also.


What percent of registered Boston voters actually voted? At 4pm yesterday I heard it reported that it was only 8%.

Down from the 28% in the 2013 primary

I just heard 25% reported on GBH also.
Pathetic and disappointing.

and that the rate is even lower in some precincts.

As a moderate, I find both candidates too liberal. One thing I do like about Wu is her comments on overhauling/dismantling the BPDA. If there is any city agency that I think is corrupt; it's this one. It's long overdue for some kind of restructuring. The same thing with the Zoning Board of Appeals. The whole system is very chummy, if you're in with the in crowd.
I hope to hear more on this subject. Then I will decide who I will vote for.

So, 23% turnout, underwhelming to say the least.



She doesn't need our help.

Sock puppet Willie Gross will be out in full force too, unless he too busy hooking up a wife beater with a job.

Don't you live in Revere?

The level of townie mind that thinks opinions are restricted by geography!

Ah, the will of 23%.

They chose to let us in the 23% pick the final 2 candidates.

The deeper question is what the final turnout will be.