Polls Close In Boston’s Historic Preliminary Mayoral Election

Voters took to the polls Tuesday to make their choice for the next mayor of Boston from among a historically diverse field of candidates. Globe reporters are bringing you the latest updates through this preliminary Election Day.

Lydia Edwards, Michelle Wu posing for the camera: Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George appear poised to duel in November Boston mayoral election. © Barry Chin/Nathan Klima Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George appear poised to duel in November Boston mayoral election.

Annissa Essaibi George says she looks forward to campaigning against Wu — 12:37 a.m.

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By Danny McDonald, Globe Staff

Speaking to a crowd of more than 100 supporters before midnight, City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George acknowledged that not every vote had been counted while also saying she looked forward to campaigning against City Councilor Michelle Wu in the weeks to come.

In the middle of Essaibi George’s speech, Janey’s campaign sent out a statement saying it appeared she had come up short.

In Dorchester, Essaibi George gave the impression she would govern the city with a steady hand. She would be the one to fix the city’s schools and to “do the work” needed at Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, she said.

“I’m a leader that will be honest with you,” Essaibi George said.

Indeed, during her 20-minute speech she took some shots at Wu for having what she framed as pie-in-the-sky ideas that fall outside the purview of mayor. The mayor, said Essaibi George, does not have the power to make the MBTA free nor can they mandate rent control, two things Wu has supported.

“You will not find me on a soapbox,” she said. “You will find me in your neighborhood, doing the work.”

She told the crowd, “This is about our city, this is about our future, this is about the people of Boston.”

Shortly thereafter, the crowd broke into chants of “Boston!”

Kim Janey concedes defeat in statement — 12:12 a.m.

By Sahar Fatima, Globe Staff

Acting Mayor Kim Janey released a statement conceding defeat to City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George in the preliminary election shortly after midnight on Wednesday.

“While we are still waiting on some results, it appears that we have come up short in the election,” Janey said, congratulating Wu and Essaibi George, and wishing them luck.

“While tonight hasn’t ended how we hoped, we have so much to be proud of,” Janey said. “On the campaign side we built a multi-racial, multicultural, and multi-generational coalition committed to making Boston a more just, more equitable place to live for every single resident.”

Janey said she is proud of her work as Boston’s first woman and first Black mayor, and will continue to lead Boston through the challenges of the pandemic.

“I am also committed to ensuring a smooth transition for the next Mayor so that SHE will be able to hit the ground running,” Janey said.

Michelle Wu declares victory in press release — 11:55 p.m.

By Sahar Fatima, Globe Staff

City Councilor Michelle Wu declared herself one of the victors in the Boston preliminary election for mayor on Tuesday night.

“Today, I am excited to move on to the next stage of this campaign and want to thank everyone who has been part of our movement from the bottom of my heart,” Wu said in a press release.

Results from the city were slow to arrive but candidates were relying on internal tallies.

“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,” Wu said.

Kim Janey won’t speak at party tonight, campaign sends supporters home — 11:45 p.m.

By Zoe Greenberg, Globe Staff

A campaign staffer at Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s party walked around informing people that there were outstanding ballots and everyone could go home. When asked her name and role with the campaign, the staffer shrugged and said “I’m no one.” Janey’s campaign later confirmed the acting mayor would not be speaking.

Soon after, supporters and aides left the parking lot.

Andrea Campbell concedes defeat in speech — 11:35 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe Staff

City Councilor Andrea Campbell conceded defeat on Tuesday in a speech to supporters in which she expressed hope for the future of the city of Boston.

Campbell said she had congratulated City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George, though the vote tallies were slow to arrive Tuesday night. Candidates were largely relying on internal tallies.

”The real winner tonight was actually Black women,” Campbell said. “Collectively our vote shares surpassed all others and what that shows is there is an appetite indeed in this city for change.”

Boston election results delayed, officials say — 10:51 p.m.

By Jeremy C. Fox, Globe Correspondent

As candidates and voters anxiously awaited the outcome of Boston’s preliminary mayoral and City Council elections Tuesday night, everyone soon had the same question on their minds: Where are the results?

Two and half hours after polls closed, political watchers were still whispering internal campaign vote counts as they continued to await results from the city. Less than 1 percent of vote totals had been released by 10:30 p.m.

City officials said about 7,000 ballots had been cast by mail or drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday, when polls closed. All ballots will be processed Tuesday night, per state law, and cross-referenced with voter rolls from each polling station, the city Election Department said in a statement.

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Janey supporters wait for results at South End watch party — 10:28 p.m.

By Zoe Greenberg, Globe Staff

At the election party for Acting Mayor Kim Janey, supporters and campaign aides gathered in the dark parking lot of the SoWa Power Station, which was decorated with balloons and orange and purple lights.

At the front of the lot, a projected screen displayed Janey in a distant fourth. Supporters expressed disappointment but hoped that Janey would still pull through.

“We did the work, we’re just waiting for the results,” said Zouhair Ntouda, an organizer with the union Unite Here, who knocked on doors for Janey.

Michelle Wu addresses supporters, says she’s ‘confident’ she’s moving on to general election — 10:15 p.m.

By Laura Krantz, Globe Staff

City Councilor Michelle Wu expressed confidence Tuesday night that she was one of the top two vote getters in the historic preliminary election for Boston mayor, even though few results had been posted by the city yet.

Wu, who was relying on information gathered by her campaign, told a cheering crowd of supporters at her election night party in Roslindale, “This is about a choice for our future. This is a choice about whether City Hall tackles our biggest challenges with bold solutions or we nibble around the edges of the status quo.”

But official results still had not been released more than two hours after the 8 p.m. poll closing.

Wu began her speech by thanking the other candidates, calling the historically diverse field “an amazing moment for the city of Boston.”

“I am humbled by your support, I am inspired by your leadership,” she said to her volunteers, many of whom have spent weeks knocking on doors and were at polling locations all day on Tuesday.

Wu talked about the voters she met across the city on Tuesday and the vision they all held for a more accessible, inclusive, and affordable city. She touched on her own background and the dreams she has for her own children.

“Our challenges and our dreams are intertwined, I know that. I’ve known that my entire life,” she said. “More is possible.”

“This is about a choice for our future, this is a choice about whether City Hall tackles our biggest challenges with bold solutions, or we nibble around the edges of the status quo,” Wu said. “This is a choice about who is in the rooms where decisions are made and about whether the doors are burst wide open out of city hall and into our neighborhoods.”

“This is a choice about whether we in this very urgent moment are taking every possible action to plan for that brightest future for our kids for their kids for their kids,” she said.

Lynn, Somerville, Gloucester voters make decisions in preliminary mayoral races Tuesday — 9:30 p.m.

By John Hilliard, Globe Staff

Voters went to the polls in local preliminary mayoral elections across Greater Boston on Tuesday, helping to whittle down crowded fields ahead of ballot votes in November.

While the focus in recent weeks has been a high-profile preliminary election for Boston’s mayor, voters in Brockton, Framingham, Gloucester, Haverhill, Lynn, Medford, Newton, Salem, and Somerville were also asked Tuesday to select the candidates of their choice.

In each city’s preliminary election, the top two finishers Tuesday were expected to appear on municipal ballots Nov. 2.

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Michelle Wu supporters, volunteers gather at Roslindale brewery — 9:06 p.m.

By Laura Krantz, Globe Staff

Michelle Wu supporters and volunteers gathered in Roslindale outside Distraction Brewery as they waited for their candidate to arrive. The side of the building along Birch Street was plastered with purple posters, as cafe lights twinkled overhead.

Crowd is now packed in waiting for ⁦@wutrain#bospoli pic.twitter.com/Kg8eSfbyzg

— Laura Krantz (@laurakrantz) September 15, 2021

Volunteers began to arrive around 8:30 p.m., greeting each other with hugs and slaps on the back as they reunited after a long day at the polls. Several lamented the poor turnout.

Donna Ryan, 58, stood waiting to see the candidate, who lives near her in Roslindale. Ryan said she told Wu she would vote for her the other day as the candidate was putting her kids in the car.

“Having a woman is very exciting,” Ryan said. “I don’t think you need to be the old boys network.”

The slate of candidates hardly looks like it did when Ryan attended Simmons University and Ray Flynn was mayor, she said. It is time to “break that mold of Boston politics,” she said.

She said she chose to support Wu because she believes Wu understands the stresses of working people like the high cost of housing and public transportation.

John Barros holds election night watch party at Dorchester restaurant — 9:02 p.m.

By Zoe Greenberg, Globe Staff

As polls closed Tuesday night and election night parties began, Restaurant Cesaria in Dorchester, where John Barros’s party was held, remained mostly empty.

Staffers adjusted a large campaign sign on stage while a TV show featuring FBI agents played on a screen overhead. Over the course of the next hour, campaign staffers trickled in from the polls and sat in clusters around the restaurant, ordering drinks and trading thoughts.

A group of staffers declined to comment, saying it had been a long day. By 9 p.m., only about 20 people had gathered for the event.

On the march to history in the Boston mayoral race, Black residents pause, reflect — 8:47 p.m.

By Meghan E. Irons, Globe Staff

Black residents of Boston greeted Tuesday’s preliminary election with a mix of excitement and trepidation, hopeful that a Black candidate would move into the general election but also fearful that this historic opportunity would pass by.

Three Black candidates have made their cases to the voters. Polls showed Acting Mayor Kim Janey and City Councilor Andrea Campbell in a tight race for the second spot on the November ballot

The third candidate, John Barros, the city’s former chief of economic development, was expected to trail behind them and the other two competitors, City Councilor Michelle Wu, who is the front-runner in the polls, and her colleague Annissa Essaibi George, who is also fighting for second place.

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Janey supporters arrive for her election night watch party — 8:38 p.m.

As results of the preliminary race began to stream in Tuesday night, supporters of Acting Boston Mayor Kim Janey arrived for her Election Night watch party in the South End.

In a tweet from Globe reporter Meghan Irons, a group of people could be seen at the gathering at the renovated SoWa Power Station.

At Kim Janey's election night party. People are starting to trickle in. #bospoli pic.twitter.com/pQ5PbaVbX7

— Meghan E. Irons (@MeghanIrons) September 15, 2021

‘Boston will be better for it’: Ayanna Pressley applauds diversity of mayoral field — 8:31 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley took to Twitter after the polls closed on Tuesday night to applaud the diverse field of candidates in Boston’s mayoral race, praising each for changing the city “forever.”

Pressley, a former member of the Boston City Council before her election to Congress in 2018, reflected on her 2009 city council election, a vote that marked the first time a woman of color was elected to the body in the city’s history.

Pressley wrote that no matter who advances to the general election, “those candidates and current officeholders, their families, their staff and supporters have changed our city forever and for good, through their commitment, their courage, and their sweat equity.”

“Boston will be better for it,” Pressley continued. “Different questions will be called. The lived experiences of more Bostonians will be lifted up [and] more people in our city will see themselves reflected in the halls of power. I am so proud of the city our family calls home.”

The Nov. 2 general election will be the first time Boston elects a person of color to the office. The five major candidates are all people of color, and four of them are women.

The top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s race will move on to the general election in November.

Boston will be better for it.

Different questions will be called.

The lived experiences of more Bostonians will be lifted up.

& more people in our city will see themselves reflected in the halls of power.

I am so proud of the city our family calls home. (5/x)

— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) September 15, 2021

Multiple Boston City Council contests will be decided on Tuesday, too — 8:14 p.m.

By Danny McDonald and Tiana Woodward, Globe Staff

Although overshadowed by a historic and crowded mayoral election, Boston voters also headed to the polls Tuesday to winnow a broad and diverse field of 48 City Council candidates running for district and at-large seats.

The legislative body is poised to undergo the biggest shake-up since 1993: five council seats are open this year, in large part due to mayoral ambitions.

Four of those vacancies were created when councilors Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu, as well as Acting Mayor Kim Janey, decided to try their luck in this year’s mayoral race rather than run for another term on the council. (Janey technically retains her council seat even as she serves as acting mayor.)

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An awkward encounter in the preliminary race’s final moments — 8:09 p.m.

By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff

File this under awkward moments on the campaign trail.

Mayoral candidate and city councilor Andrea Campbell had just emerged from a car to greet voters at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School. Up pulled a sound truck with a massive TV screen promoting mayoral candidate and councilor Michelle Wu.

A video, which remained on constant loop outside the school until the polls closed, featured a testimonial of support from Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a supporter saying, “Michelle Wu is one of Boston’s most effective leaders.”

It also shows Wu tromping along Beacon Hill and promising, “Together, we’ll get Boston working for all of us.”

Polls close in Boston’s historic preliminary mayoral election — 8:00 p.m.

By Martin Finucane, Sahar Fatima, and Dugan Arnett, Globe Staff

The polls closed Tuesday night after Boston voters cast their ballots for a historically diverse set of candidates in the city’s preliminary mayoral election.

The top two vote getters Tuesday will face off in the Nov. 2 general election.

No matter who goes on to the final, change is coming to the mayor’s office that will reflect the city’s shifting demographics. The five major candidates are all people of color, and four of them are women. Boston has only ever elected white men as its leaders.

Follow along here as live election results stream in.

Boston reports voter turnout of more than 80,000 as of 6 p.m. — 7:51 p.m.

By Danny McDonald, Globe Staff

As of 6 p.m., Boston had tabulated more than 83,000 votes, the city said on Twitter.

Early-in person voting and no-excuse vote-by-mail, both products of the COVID-19 pandemic, were available during this preliminary election.

Historically, voter interest in municipal preliminaries in Boston has been fairly dismal. In 2013, the first open race in 20 years, only 113,319 people voted in a city that had more than 300,000 registered voters at the time. In 2017, when Walsh ran for re-election, only 56,400 people voted in the preliminary. There are now more than 400,000 registered voters, according to city election data.

Unofficial Preliminary Municipal Election results will be posted to the https://t.co/IQEPNqo2nE website later this evening after the polls close at 8 p.m. pic.twitter.com/Jy7LkRHbAi

— Boston Election Department (@BostonElections) September 14, 2021

Essaibi George supporters prepare for election night party in Dorchester — 7:12 p.m.

By Danny McDonald, Globe Staff

At Venezia in Dorchester at 7 p.m., a handful of Annissa Essaibi George supporters were putting the finishing touches on setting up the election night party.

A smattering of television cameramen mulled around, waiting for the event to start. A banquet hall was festooned with balloons and Essaibi George’s distinct pink, black, and white campaign signs in multiple languages.

Leslie Seabury, a South Boston resident, said she liked Essaibi George because she was “accessible, accountable, and responsive” as a councilor.

“She’s great,” she said to two other supporters. “She’s real.”

Asked if she felt good about Essaibi George’s chances before the official results started rolling in, Seabury said, “How good can you feel? I don’t know … I’m certainly excited about her candidacy.”

At-large City Council candidate Alexander Gray makes final pitch to voters — 6:14 p.m.

By Julia Carlin, Globe Correspondent

At-large City Council candidate Alexander Gray made his way around the city Tuesday in a last-ditch effort to sway undecided voters.

“I’m feeling very good,” he said in Jamaica Plain. “It’s a beautiful day and we have a lot of enthusiasm on our side.”

Gray said he was pleased with the number of voters who knew his name and was confident that he had persuaded many of those who didn’t.

“I always say I wasn’t a good listener until I went blind,” he said. “We need people in office who can listen … I’m the candidate who will.”

He noted that voters can choose four at-large candidates.

“I don’t have to be their favorite, but I hope I make their top four,” he said.

‘The struggle for social justice doesn’t end’: Political activist says she believes change is coming to Mass. politics — 5:27 p.m.

By Julia Carlin, Globe Correspondent

Enid Eckstein, a community activist from Jamaica Plain, said she believes long-term change is coming to city and state politics.

“I looked at the ballot this morning and thought ‘This is real change,’ " Eckstein said Tuesday at the Mission Hill K-8 School.

In Boston mayoral races, she is used to seeing a slate of candidates that is mostly white men. Not this year.

“It really gave me pause and made me feel hopeful for the city, and especially for women,” she said.

Eckstein knew she wanted to vote for a woman of color, and ultimately decided on Acting Mayor Kim Janey.

“It was more of a gut feeling,” she said. She has met Janey and thinks she has good experience for the job.

But after casting her vote, Eckstein was already thinking ahead.

“It’s not about the election,” she said approaching voters and giving a high-speed pitch on the Fair Share Amendment, a referendum that would raise taxes on yearly income beyond $1 million. The measure isn’t on the ballot until November 2022, but Eckstein was drumming up support now.

“These are high-performing voters,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to talk to people about something that is going to come up in a year from now, but is nonetheless important.”

She also said she wanted to be proactive about fighting disinformation about the amendment.

“The struggle for social justice doesn’t end,” said Eckstein before leaving for another voting location.

Tuesday’s turnout figures include some early in-person and mail-in votes — 5:06 p.m.

By Danny McDonald, Globe Staff

The turnout figures for today’s municipal preliminary election have a substantial caveat: They include some early in-person and mail-in votes. As of 3 p.m., the city had tabulated more than 53,000 votes, but some early votes are being counted throughout the day, and the speed of that process will differ depending on the precinct, complicating any day-of turnout analysis for various parts of the city.

Early-in person voting and no-excuse vote-by-mail, both products of the COVID-19 pandemic, were available during this preliminary election.

Historically, voter interest in municipal preliminaries in Boston has been fairly dismal. In 2013, the first open race in 20 years, only 113,319 people voted in a city that had more than 300,000 registered voters at the time. In 2017, when Walsh ran for re-election, only 56,400 people voted in the preliminary. There are now more than 400,000 registered voters, according to city election data.

Of course, this preliminary is more momentous than usual; regardless of today’s outcome, it will lead to the election in November of the first Boston mayor of color, who most likely will be its first woman in the job, too.

Seeking ‘someone different,’ voters cast ballots for Wu — 4:39 p.m.

By Emma Platoff, Globe Staff

There was no line to vote Tuesday afternoon outside Wang YMCA in Chinatown, the polling place for one of the city’s largest precincts. Poll workers said the foot traffic had been steady, but not overwhelming, comparable to last year’s presidential primary.

As a dozen supporters wielding purple Wu signs rallied nearby on the corner of Oak Street and Washington Street, voters trekking in and out of the polls reported casting their ballots for a wide range of mayoral candidates.

“Someone different” was what Arnulfo Paz, 50, sought with his vote for Councilor Michelle Wu. Several voters said Wu’s support from Senator Elizabeth Warren proved decisive.

Vincent Strully, 74, pointed to the Globe’s endorsement of Councilor Andrea Campbell as influential in his choice to vote for her. It’s time, he said, for a woman of color to be running the city — and he wanted to vote for a progressive, but saw Wu as too “doctrinaire.”

“I’m a liberal, but I like to win,” Strully said.

60-year-old Sheryl Thomas was undecided between Acting Mayor Kim Janey and Campbell when she walked into the Y to cast her ballot, pointing to the deep personal ties each woman has in Boston and the leadership positions to which they had climbed.

Who did she opt for in the end?

“Mayor Janey,” Thomas said with a shrug as she exited.

Mayoral rivals cross paths in West Roxbury — 4:06 p.m.

By Laura Crimaldi, Globe Staff

In Boston politics, it’s not unusual for rivals to run into each other on Election Day. And that’s what happened Tuesday afternoon outside Holy Name Parish Hall in West Roxbury, where mayoral candidates John Barros and Acting Mayor Kim Janey crossed paths.

Janey, who arrived at the polling station after Barros, greeted her fellow candidate with a hug and the pair chatted.

She said she was feeling grateful on Election Day.

”We’ve built a strong coalition with representation in every single neighborhood. It’s intergenerational. It’s multicultural,” she said. “I’m blessed for the opportunity to serve and to lead, especially at a time such as now.

Maura Hennigan, a former city councilor who ran for mayor in 2005, greeted voters outside the busy polling station and encouraged them to vote for Janey.”Say hello to Mayor Kim Janey,” Hennigan said to passersby.

She said the mayoral race will change drastically once the field narrows to two candidates and the race will be wide open.”

You start from scratch again,” said Hennigan, who is now clerk of criminal business at Suffolk Superior Court.

Among the voters who visited the polling station Tuesday afternoon was Matthew O’Connor, who cast his ballot for Councilor Annissa Essaibi George.

O’Connor, a union painter, said his friends encouraged him to vote for her.

”She’s for the unions,” he said. “That’s all I need.”

Old ties make Campbell easy choice for one Southie voter — 3:31 p.m.

By Dugan Arnett, Globe Staff

By 2:30 Tuesday afternoon, the polling location at 345 Old Colony Ave. in South Boston was relatively quiet, with only the occasional voter coming and going.

For one of them, Aja Robinson, the choice in the mayor’s race was an easy one.

“She probably doesn’t remember, but we grew up together in the same neighborhood,” said Robinson, 40, of Councilor Andrea Campbell. “I know her family.”

Robinson said it was a unique experience voting for someone she’d been acquainted with in childhood, adding that she is confident Campbell is up to the task of running the city.

‘For how many years, it’s been, “Is it the Irish guy or the Italian guy?” ' said a voter. ‘You feel like Boston’s joining the rest of the world.’ — 2:22 p.m.

By Dugan Arnett, Globe Staff

By 1 p.m. Tuesday, poll worker Paul Duffy said he’d already been struck by the significant number of voters who’d filed through the Condon Community center in South Boston.

As he took a break from his 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. shift, the 59-year-old marketing consultant said turnout for the preliminary election as a whole had been a surprise, but that it was especially so with voters in their 20s and 30s.

“It’s a reflection of this ward and precinct,” he said, as he lunched on a sandwich. “But it’s also encouraging to see.”

Indeed, a number of younger voters streamed Tuesday afternoon into the D Street polling place, which saw a good deal of activity throughout the morning.

Mayoral candidate John Barros had appeared earlier in the day, and several people were on site during the lunch hour, holding signs and imploring voters to consider this candidate or that one.

Like many voters Tuesday, Niki Kobacker cited the historic nature of the primary, and said she hoped the upcoming election — with four female candidates — would represent a shift from the nepotism and good-ol’-boy networks that have long permeated the city’s political scene.

“For how many years, it’s been, ‘Is it the Irish guy or the Italian guy?’ " said Kobacker, 67. “You feel like Boston’s joining the rest of the world.”

Though she expects Michelle Wu to win the preliminary and final elections, she said Andrea Campbell had earned her vote thanks to a progressive agenda.

Still, she said she expected Wu would make a “wonderful” mayor.

“This is really exciting for Boston,” she said.

Council hopefuls pitch voters in Dorchester — 1:42 p.m.

By Laura Crimaldi, Globe Staff

The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center hosts three precincts and drew several City Council candidates Tuesday, who greeted voters outside.

Joao DePina, who is running to represent District 7 on the City Council, said he wants to improve voter turnout in the area. District 7 includes Roxbury and parts of the South End, Dorchester, and the Fenway.

Issues that are important to that part of the city are too easily overlooked, DePina said, because voter turnout is low.

“Just vote. It doesn’t matter if you vote for me or you vote for candidates running against me,” he said. “I feel like our communities are not heard because our numbers are not high. The more we get out there, the more the politicians that get in office will pay attention because they’re going to need us when they have to run again.”

Brandy Brooks, who is also running to represent District 7, said voters are energized.

“The thing that I’ve seen the most is people with jubilant faces after they finished voting,” she said.

Domingos DaRosa, who is running for an at-large seat on the city council, said he was upset by reports that campaign signs for him and other candidates were being knocked to the ground outside polling locations.

“This is about democracy and the lack of respect for it reflects on Election Day,” DaRosa said.

Jennifer Becker walked by the community center and told DaRosa she talked up his candidacy at her polling spot in Savin Hill.

DaRosa has been proactive about improving conditions for the people struggling to survive in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard, she said.

“There are so many things wrong with that area and the only one that I know who is willing to address them so far is Domingos,” Becker said.

For mayor, Becker said she voted for City Councilor Michelle Wu. ”When she speaks, she’s powerful,” she said. “It seems to me that she’s about getting change to happen.”

‘I’m ready to bring people together,’ Barros says — 1:34 p.m.

By Laura Crimaldi, Globe Staff

Mayoral candidate John Barros drove his family to a polling station in Dorchester Tuesday morning to escort his mother, Catarina, to cast a ballot for her son.

Before heading inside the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, Barros reflected on loved ones who have died since his first mayoral run in 2013.

”It’s a big deal, especially since I just lost my father two years ago,” he said. “In the last campaign he was a big supporter and voting with him was a big deal. He’s not here to vote today.”

The family is also mourning the death of Barros’s grandmother, who died of COVID-19, and the death of his wife’s grandmother, who died Sunday.

”There are some folks who aren’t here with us this time around,” Barros said.

He said he started his day dropping off his four children at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester and then visiting St. Patrick’s Church in Roxbury, his parish. Barros said he also voted with his wife, Tchintcia, at Uphams Crossing and greeted voters at the James F. Condon School in South Boston.

His agenda for the remainder of Election Day included radio interviews and visiting polling stations and small businesses.

The preliminary election, he said, is a historic moment for Boston and holds national importance because the next mayor will have to contend with a pandemic and race relations — two issues that are being felt in every corner of the country.

”I’m ready to bring people together on both issues and respond well,” Barros said.

He predicted he will be getting good news after the polls close.

“I think we are going to be in the final,” Barros said. “I look forward to being able to give that victory speech and reassure voters that we’re going to continue to do the things that we’ve been talking about doing.”

Janey makes pitch in radio appearance — 1:31 p.m.

By Danny McDonald, Globe Staff

In an early afternoon Boston Public Radio appearance, Acting Mayor Kim Janey made an 11th-hour pitch to voters, highlighting the importance of creating a more equitable and more just city.

“We’ve done amazing work together over the last five months,” said Janey. “It’s very clear that we cannot go back to the way things were. COVID has exposed and exacerbated many of the challenges that were here all along. It’s important that we take this opportunity to make sure we are creating a stronger Boston together.”

Janey, who is the city’s first Black and first female mayor, was asked what moments would stay with her from the mayoral campaign.

“It’s been really great to connect with children, to see the looks on little girls and little boys faces, when they recognize me, and to see themselves reflected,” said Janey.

‘She’s a moderate, and I think that’s what we need,’ voter says of Essaibi George — 1:21 p.m.

By Tonya Alanez, Globe Staff

Mary Beth Marciano, 67, voted at noon Tuesday at City Hall for Councilor Annissa Essaibi George.

“I think she’s a moderate, and I think that’s what we need. We have too many people too far to the left and we have too many people too far to the right,” Marciano said. “I think she’ll take care of everybody’s interests.”

Marciano said she didn’t finalize her mayoral decision until “probably this morning.”

Acting Mayor Kim Janey nearly had Marciano’s vote.

“I think Janey is doing a decent job, especially with the mask mandate. We needed one,” Marciano said. But, she added, “I really went for the moderate stance because I’m a moderate Democrat.”

For one voter in Allston, Wu’s climate and transit agenda moved him — 1:17 p.m.

By Tiana Woodard, Globe Staff

The Allston polling location at Jackson Mann K-8 School attracted a mix of elderly residents, as well as college-aged voters like 23-year-old Zach Sheola.

Sheola, who’s pursuing a master’s in social work at Boston College, said he voted for Councilor Michelle Wu for mayor.

“I like her climate plans … and her plans for transit,” he said. “Plus, she’s the best candidate on housing.”

A future social worker, Sheola wants a candidate who’s committed to eliminating poverty, expanding affordable healthcare and housing access, and supporting immigrant communities. For him, Wu fit the bill.

”I care a lot about progressive and leftist politics,” Sheola said. “So I’m looking for candidates that genuinely care about the well-being of Bostonians.”

Wu ad in Spanish ‘spoke to me,’ voter says — 12:23 p.m.

By Tonya Alanez, Globe Staff

Jeremy Surla Vargas, 34, a bookkeeper and office manager, was deciding between Councilor Michelle Wu and Acting Mayor Kim Janey, but Wu won out.

”I think she’s the most progressive one, she’s the only Asian candidate, she’s been a city counselor for [nearly] 10 years . . . And she also did a commercial in Spanish and that spoke to me,” said Surla Vargas, who is half Latino and half Asian.

When Wu announced her candidacy for mayor last year, she released a video in the three languages that she speaks, English, Mandarin, and Spanish. She also cut a Spanish-language TV ad this summer.

As for Janey, Surla Vargas said, “I hear she’s a really good organizer but I just feel like I heard she hasn’t done enough.”

It’s important to Surla Vargas to see a woman of color elected as mayor.

‘Wu train comin’ in,’ voter declares in Roxbury — 12:17 p.m.

By Julia Carlin, Globe Correspondent

Voters slowly trickled into the Dewitt Center in Roxbury on Tuesday. There was never a line and, except for the sound of shuffling ballots, it was quiet.

Until Dave Goodman, 56, arrived declaring: “Wu train comin’ in.” The proud democratic socialist said Councilor Michelle Wu is the only candidate progressive enough to earn his vote.

“These centrist Democrats won’t spend a dime on the people,” he said in reference to Acting Mayor Kim Janey. “Wu’s policies reach the struggling working class, the struggling middle class, the disenfranchised, and the disabled.”

Goodman said he’s voting for free transit, universal pre-k, housing for all, and the “Bernie-Sanders-type leadership the city desperately needs.” Wu, he said, is “for the people” and will bring representation for the minority communities.

Jacqueline Woodley, 59, arrived at the polls on Tuesday with every intention of voting for Wu. But as she was walking into the community center, the signs for Janey caught her eye.

”I think we got to give her a chance,” Woodley said, adding that she identifies with Janey’s background growing up in Roxbury and thinks Janey hasn’t had enough time in office. “I see her out here pushing the vaccine... She’s doing her best to clean up the community and get this country in line.”

”Let Janey handle it,” her 79-year-old mother, Bernice, chimed in. “She’s very compassionate. We want Janey.” They both said they hope that Janey will lower rent and be able to unify other political leaders to address public safety in the city.

A mayoral vote for Andrea Campbell, delivered by bicycle — 11:43 a.m.

By Tonya Alanez, Globe Staff

Mary Jeffrey, 67, bicycled to City Hall before noon Tuesday to deposit her vote for Councilor Andrea Campbell into a ballot drop box.

”I wanted to vote for her before the Globe endorsed her,” Jeffrey said. “Campbell definitely, from the beginning. I’m very happy to vote for her.”

”I just was real impressed with her background, her pulling herself up by her bootstraps to be successful. I think she would be a good person to run the city.”

Jeffrey said she was also impressed by Campbell’s law degree, work ethic, and demeanor.

”I really don’t want the current acting mayor to be in there for four years,” Jeffrey said of Kim Janey.

Jeffrey said she was disheartened by some of her neighbors and friends who showed no interest in voting. But she was determined to do her part to get Campbell into the top two and on to the Nov. 2 final.

City Council candidates on the hunt for votes on Washington St. — 11:19 a.m.

By Tiana Woodard, Globe Staff

On Washington Street, two dozen campaign volunteers crowded around the Codman Square Branch Library’s front doors. A man demanded the crowd step back, in compliance with election law, which prohibits electioneering within 150 feet of polling place on Election Day.

They crept back soon after.

City Council District 4 candidates William Dickerson III, Deeqo Jibril, and Leonard Lee Sr. approached potential supporters at around 9:30 a.m. near the library’s entrance.

Voters left the polling location with a myriad of campaign materials — including at-large incumbent Michael Flaherty flyers, at-large candidate David Halbert flyers, and even Leonard Lee Sr.-labeled water bottles.

Candidates and volunteers swarmed Dorchester resident Donnell Graves, 62, to ask for his vote.

”Hand me money! I already know who to vote for,” he joked at the candidates and volunteers asking for his vote. A small group of people surrounded him. “No change.”

Graves, a retired corrections officer, said he voted for Acting Mayor Kim Janey because of her commitment to racial justice and maturity compared to other candidates. He recalled busing in Boston during 11th grade and being chased off of Carson Beach by white residents.

“[Boston] is labeled as a racist city wherever I go, and we need to change that narrative,” Graves said. “We need to show the city that we deserve the services this city has to offer.”

82-year-old voter says historic field is ‘a breath of fresh air’ — 11:14 a.m.

By Dugan Arnett, Globe Staff

Linda Cox hasn’t missed a local election in her more than 50 years living on Beacon Hill, and Tuesday’s primary was no exception.

The 82-year-old retired editor and book store owner was one of the few voters who trickled into the State House polling location in the early hours of the day, compelled largely, she said, by an historic mayoral race.

“It’s very exciting to have all these women, and five leading candidates of color,” said Cox. “It’s a breath of fresh air.”

Cox, who planned to cast her vote for Michelle Wu, said the candidate had won her over with her work as an at-large city councilor, adding that Wu’s support for parks was also a factor.

“I’m a big advocate of parks,” she said.

For John Burgess, the city’s high cost of living has been an issue that has shaped his decision.

“Boston is a very expensive city, which makes it hard for people who don’t have a lot of money,” said the retired 70-year-old, who politely declined to reveal his vote. “I’d like it still to be a city for everyone.”

He also noted the unique nature of the election, as well as the philosophical similarities among many of the candidates.

“It’s been a tough one,” he said. “It’s a crowded field, and there’s a lot of overlap.”

‘Methadone Mile is getting worse by the day,’ voter in Dorchester says — 11:02 a.m.

By Janelle Nanos, Globe Staff

Poll workers at the Codman Square Wellness & Fitness Center in Dorchester said turnout had been steady since the polls opened Tuesday morning.

”It’s important that we elect the right people so we can better our neighborhoods,” said Brandy Cruthird, a communications director in the Boston Public Schools.

She said she was thrilled to be able to vote for a female candidate for mayor, and said it was a powerful moment for the students she works with “so young little girls can dream, and that they can know they can hold political positions and empower their communities, and also inspire the next generation.”

She said she hoped the next mayor focused on housing, homelessness, and education so that students who live and learn here can stay, buy homes, and establish generational wealth.

Roxie Coicou, of Dorchester, said she voted for Acting Mayor Janey.

“I voted for the mayor incumbent because she had five months, we ought to give her a chance,” she said.

She said she was concerned about homelessness and issues around drugs and addiction.

“Methadone Mile is getting worse by the day. We need to do something and if one of us suffers in reality we all suffer.”

Brienna Parks, 28, of Dorchester said she cast her ballot for Councilor Andrea Campbell.

“I feel like she’s invested in what she’s doing,” she said of Campbell. Parks, who works as a billing coordinator at Tufts University, said she hoped the next mayor would take on housing issues and focus on capping the rising rents in the city. “The rent is ridiculous,” she said. “It’s really hard. I just really want to see change for the better.”

John Barros casts ballot with wife — 10:47 a.m.

By Jonathan Wiggs, Globe Staff

John F. Barros voted with his wife Tchintcia, at Uphams Crossing, 530 Columbia Road, in Dorchester Tuesday morning.

‘An amazing opportunity to be a part of change,’ voter says in East Boston — 10:22 a.m.

By Laura Crimaldi, Globe Staff

Vilma L. Pineiro, a mother of five from East Boston, wore a sticker that read, “I voted,” after casting her mayoral ballot for City Councilor Michelle Wu.

She said education is a priority for her.

“I think for schools, she has experience,” said Pineiro, who voted at East Boston High School.

The polling location hosts five precincts. As of 9 a.m., 297 ballots had been cast, according to voting machine tallies.

Marisa Nieves, 26, a teen director at a Boys and Girls Club, said she voted for Councilor Andrea Campbell.

Nieves said when she lived in Dorchester, she contacted Campbell’s office about neighborhood issues and got a thorough response.

“She actually contacted me. I thought that said a lot about her character,” Nieves said. “Her mind and heart are in the right place. She’ll make sound decisions.”

Nieves reflected on the diverse slate of candidates running for mayor.

“I think it’s awesome. It’s such an amazing opportunity to be a part of change. And I think more people need to be active participants,” she said.

Ryan Lovell, 46, who works in higher education, said he voted for Councilor Annissa Essaibi George.

“She’s speaking to a wide range of issues,” he said. “She’s talking about crime and she seems to be one of the more moderate candidates running.”

City Councilor Lydia Edwards, who represents East Boston, greeted voters outside the high school. She is backing Wu and asked voters to consider doing the same as they made their way to the polling spot.

Edwards said she planned to tour her district today before heading to Roslindale for Wu’s election night gathering.

No matter the outcome, Edwards said Tuesday’s vote is historic because of the diverse field.

“We are making history, period. So I’m smiling from ear to ear.”

Edwards is gearing up for her own campaign for a special election to choose a successor for Joseph Boncore of Winthrop, who recently resigned his state senate seat to take a job leading MassBio. She distributed literature about her candidacy to voters as they left the high school.

Also seeking the seat is Anthony D’Ambrosio of Revere, who stood a few feet from Edwards and greeted voters.

Michelle Wu votes at Phineas Bates Elementary School — 9:45 a.m.

By Julia Carlin, Globe Correspondent

Supporters of mayoral candidate Michelle Wu, sporting campaign garb and cheering each time a passing car honked in solidarity, gathered outside the Phineas Bates Elementary School in Roslindale on Tuesday morning.

When Wu, an at-large city councilor, arrived, the crowd cheered. Her two sons, Cass and Blaise, ran ahead as Wu stopped to greet her supporters before descending into the cafeteria to cast her ballot.

She voted alongside a man in a police officer’s uniform and an elderly woman in a pink dress.

”I set my alarm and woke up way earlier,” said Wu after casting her ballot. “It’s exciting. We’ve been working for this for a very long time.”

After dropping her kids at school, Wu will continue moving around the city talking to undecided voters, she said.

“The only polls that matter are these ones,” said Wu.

Very light morning in Codman Square — 9:21 a.m.

By Tiana Woodard, Globe Staff

Around 8 a.m., a voter or two trickled in and out of Codman Square Apartments’ front doors every 10 minutes. A lone volunteer for District 4 city councilor candidate Brian Worrell handed out campaign materials to a few passersby. A poll worker stepped out to smoke a cigarette.

Donna Latson Gittens, a Dorchester resident and advertising business owner, cast her ballot around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday.

She said she voted for mayoral candidate and District 4 City Councilor Andrea Campbell because she has a good track record in her district.

“People who meet you on the ground and look you in the eye — that’s what makes the difference,” she said. Gittens also supported at-large councilor candidates Ruthzee Louijeune and Alexander Gray. “This isn’t ethereal. You want to make a connection.”

A trickle of voters in Lower Mills — 9:05 a.m.

By Tonya Alanez, Globe Staff

At the Lower Mills branch of the Boston Public Library in Dorchester early Tuesday, Melissa Le, a 29-year-old scientist, said she cast her mayoral vote for Michelle Wu.

”The main reason is I like her focus on the climate crisis and public transportation,” Le said amidst a trickle of other voters casting ballots. “There’s a lot of good candidates, but that’s what stood out for me.”

Acting Mayor Janey votes with family — 8:57 a.m.

By Dugan Arnett, Globe Staff

Accompanied by her mother, daughter, and granddaughter, Acting Mayor Kim Janey on Tuesday morning cast her ballot at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury.

Arriving just after 7 a.m., Janey greeted the contingent of waiting media as she made her way inside, past a phalanx of campaign signs and fellow voters.

“I feel good,” she said. “It’s a good day in the neighborhood.”

After a brief delay inside — “I forgot my glasses,” she said after picking up her ballot — she wrapped up the process quickly, chatting briefly with some of the poll workers on hand.

“Oh, my God, I’m so excited,” said one worker. “You’re so awesome. So awesome.”

Janey, who served as City Council president and became acting mayor when Martin J. Walsh joined the Biden administration earlier this year, also explained the importance of voting with her family. They met her Tuesday morning in the parking lot of the polluting location — four total generations going to vote together.

“It’s a family tradition,” Janey said. “It’s something we do every single year, and obviously this year was extra special with me on the ballot for mayor.”

In some of her final public comments before primary ballots are counted late Tuesday, Janey highlighted her experience and work in the city, as well as Boston’s high vaccination rate.

Asked whether she believed whether her experience as acting mayor during the pandemic was a benefit, however, she said she would leave the political analysis to the pundits.

“We’re proud of what we’ve done in five months,” she said, before spending the next few minutes greeting would-be voters. “But there’s so much more work, and we certainly hope to be able to do that work over the course of the next four years.”

Andrea Campbell drops in a vote for herself — 8:22 a.m.

By Tonya Alanez, Globe staff

Mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell arrived at her polling place at the Lower Mills branch of the Boston Public Library in Dorchester pushing a stroller and accompanied by her husband and two young sons.

Campbell arrived a little after 7 a.m. to cast her vote for herself as mayor. She was greeted by a dancing and grooving posse of sign-waving supporters. ”When I say, ‘Mayor,’ you say, ‘Campbell,’” someone shouted. The flock of Campbell supporters paused only to hoot and holler at drive-by honkers.

Campbell said it was an “emotional day.”

”It’s an honor and a privilege to be a candidate for mayor in Boston,” she said. “This is an important race and my candidacy is indeed unique and special.” She has lived through the issues she is addressing, Campbell said.

”This work has always been about breaking generational cycles of poverty, of trauma, and systemic inequity in the city of Boston, and not just for my two beautiful boys but for every child in the city.“

”We have everything it would take to ensure that every resident has access to incredible opportunity, good housing, access to parks, good transit, good jobs, good schools. So we just have to do the work,” Campbell said. “And that’s what I’ve always been about.”

Annissa Essaibi George casts her ballot — 7:40 a.m.

By Tiana Woodard, Globe staff

In Dorchester, city councilor and mayoral candidate Annissa Essaibi George sped through Bellflower Court apartments’ tiny voting room Tuesday morning to cast her ballot. As she filled the bubbles on the sheet, she said the thoughts of her parents immigrating to Boston flooded her mind.

“It was a little overwhelming at first,” Essaibi George, the daughter of Tunisian and Polish immigrants, said about voting Tuesday morning. Her husband, Doug, and four sons stood beside her. “I don’t think my parents would’ve ever imagined their daughter being on the ballot and a candidate for mayor. It’s an incredible time for the city’s future, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”

A packed schedule lay ahead. After dropping off her four boys at school, the mayoral hopeful said she planned on stopping at different polling locations around Boston. She’d finish the night at Dorchester’s Venezia restaurant.

“Sleep was a little bit challenging last night, but it’s an exciting day,” Essaibi George said.

Preliminary Election Day has arrived in Boston. Here’s what you need to know — 6:00 a.m.

By Sahar Fatima, Globe staff

After a spirited race where everything from campaigning during a pandemic to the historically diverse field of candidates was unorthodox, Boston preliminary election day is finally here.

Five major candidates are running for mayor, including Acting Mayor Kim Janey; City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu; and the city’s former economic development chief, John Barros.

This isn’t the finish line quite yet. The top two candidates will move on to the Nov. 2 general election which will decide who will lead Boston next, starting in November.

Read more

Boston’s new mayor will be sworn in mid-November, not January — 6:23 p.m.

By Danny McDonald, Globe staff

After a whirlwind weekend of campaigning around the city, Boston’s mayoral hopefuls planned to also spend Monday making final pitches to key constituencies ahead of Tuesday’s historic preliminary, which will winnow the field of five candidates down to two who will face off in the Nov. 2 final election.

And this race that has been unlike any other also will feature another unusual twist: Whoever emerges from this year’s mayoral race will be sworn in sometime in mid-November, rather than the usual January, according to city officials.

Read more

 

Sept. 13, 2021  

Undecided voters in the Boston mayoral election could determine who goes on to November — 8:16 p.m.

By Meghan E. Irons, Globe Staff

On the eve of final voting, June Thorpe of Mattapan has narrowed her list for Boston mayor to two.

“It’s going to be someone Black. I know that,’’ said Thorpe, a Black woman, nodding to the historic racial and ethnic diversity in the mayoral contest. So far, she favors Acting Mayor Kim Janey and City Councilor Andrea Campbell. She’ll make up her mind Tuesday, she said.

Read more

Boston mayor’s race offers master class in women’s political competition — 7:38 p.m.

By Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff

Boston’s down-to-the-wire preliminary election for mayor features a phenomenon still rare in American politics but eagerly anticipated: A fierce contest among multiple women candidates.

All women of color, often ideological compatriots, the four leading candidates to be Boston’s next mayor rose through the political ranks together. A squad before The Squad, they formed the core of the first-ever female-dominated Boston City Council and became emblematic of a changing city and time.

Read more

See full coverage of the Boston mayoral race ⟶

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/results-begin-to-trickle-in-for-boston-s-historic-preliminary-mayoral-election/ar-AAOqy4t

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New Boston mayor to take office just 2 weeks after election

Source:SFGate

New Boston mayor to take office just 2 weeks after election

GBH News Politics Team: Historic Mayoral Election Reflects Bostons Changing Political DNA

Source:WGBH

GBH News Politics Team: Historic Mayoral Election Reflects Bostons Changing Political DNA

Voters across Greater Boston will cast ballots in preliminary mayoral elections Tuesday

Source:The Boston Globe

Voters across Greater Boston will cast ballots in preliminary mayoral elections Tuesday

Polls Say Boston Will Soon See Its First Elected Female Mayor

Source:Forbes

Polls Say Boston Will Soon See Its First Elected Female Mayor