Tuesday could pave the way for Bostonians to elect their first women and first person of color to be mayor of Boston.
Politico reports all four leading candidates in Tuesday’s primary are women.
The MassINC Polling Group poll released September 3 found Michelle Wu, leading the pack with 30% of those polled favoring the city councilwoman. She would be the first Asian American to be ever elected Boston mayor.
She’s followed by acting Mayor Kim Janey, who as president of the city council was elevated to mayor when congress confirmed Marty Walsh for Secretary of Labor in the Biden Administration.
15% favor Janey, the first Black women to serve as mayor of Boston. 13% named Councilor Annissa Essaibi George as their choice, followed by Black city councilwoman Andrea Campbell with 11%. The other Black candidate, John Barros, trails with 4%.
According to NBC News, out of the 100 largest cities in the United States, just five have Asian American mayors and all five are in California-Fremont Mayor Lily Mei; Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan; Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh; Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu; and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
“We are often perpetuating a very limited sense of what’s possible for our city because we’re only leaning into a narrow definition of who can lead,” Wu said to NBC News.
She recently spoke out about how frustration with government lead her to a career in politics and how her mother’s mental health crisis spurred that decision.
“I got fed up with government,” she admitted.
Wu’s parents immigrated from Taiwan before she was born. The Harvard grad is just 36. She speaks three languages, including Mandarin and Spanish. She lives with her husband, two sons and her mother in a two-family house. She has made climate change central to her platform.
Progressives say the race features an embarrassment of riches for diversity and progressive politics.
“We’re having a very tough choice amongst these five candidates,” said State Rep. Russell Holmes, who is Black and represents the city’s most predominantly Black neighborhoods.
If Wu makes it past the primary, it will then be up to her to go after the support of those who lost the primary race. How well she does with that will likely determine the next mayor of Boston.
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