A competitive field of candidates for Boston’s top office spread out through the city over the weekend to hustle up votes in the waning days before Tuesday’s preliminary election.
Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey, CityCouncilors Annissa Essaibi-George, Andrea Campbell and Michelle Wu, and John Barros, the city’s former economic development chief, are stepping up appearances and ringing as many doorbells as possible in the run up to the vote when field will be narrowed to two.
Recent polls show a tight race between the historic group of candidates with Wu in the lead and Janey, Campbell and Essaibi-George running neck-and-neck for second place. Barros trails in the distance in the polls.
Boston has always elected and been led by white men, something guaranteed to change with this mayoral election. Wu is a first-generation Taiwanese American. Janey and Campbell are both Black women. Essaibi-George is a first-generation Arab-Polish American. Barros is of Cape Verdean descent.
There’s plenty of crossover for the candidates — all progressive Democrats — when it comes to the issues and all are using the final days to connect with as many voters as possible. The two top candidates selected on Tuesday will face off on Nov. 2.
Campbell took the prize for most-visible candidate this weekend, making 26 appearances in total between Saturday and Sunday, according to her campaign schedule.
Campbell is enjoying a groundswell of support after a string of recent endorsements buoyed the District 4 city councilor into the group of top contenders. She trailed during much of the early campaign season. It’s momentum she said she’s hoping will propel her onto the November ballot.
“I’m the best candidate in this moment in time and not just because of my lived experience where I can relate to every inequity we are talking about in Boston,” Campbell said. “I am more than story I have a record of getting results.”
Essaibi-George has also seen a bump in the polls, which she said is proof her “message is resonating with voters.”
“Voters are really responding to my work, track record and commitment to working on so many of the big issues we face as a city,” the city councilor-at large told the Herald.
Janey, who has led the city as acting mayor since Martin Walsh was appointed U.S. labor secretary in March, appeared at just three events this weekend, according to her formal schedule, and instead focused on reaching voters at their homes. The Janey campaign knocked on over 7,000 doors this weekend, campaign manager Kirby Chandler said.
“Our campaign is running on all cylinders,” Chandler said. “Voters … are responding positively to the job Mayor Janey is doing — over 70% of residents have at least one vaccination shot, crime is down, kids are safely back in schools, and she is keeping families in their homes through rental relief, home ownership assistance and the eviction moratorium.”
Wu, said she’s focused on getting as many voters to the polls as possible. Boston preliminary elections typically see low turnout, but in an election with such historic implications, the frontrunner said it’s all about getting out the vote.
“Our campaign is excited and energized by the enthusiasm across our neighborhoods, and we’re working hard in this last stretch to connect that energy to high turnout on Tuesday,” Wu said in a statement.