Michelle Wu elected as Boston’s first female mayor

Boston mayoral hopeful Michelle Wu
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Boston City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu is the first woman and the first person of Asian descent to win election to the mayor’s office after voters chose her over a fellow city council member on Tuesday.

With 52 percent of the vote reporting, The Associated Press called the race for Wu. She led Annissa Essaibi George by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin.

Wu, 36, led a competitive field of contenders in the September primary in what was guaranteed to be a historic election in a city that has elected only white men to its top office. All four of the top finishers were women, and all four have diverse backgrounds.

Wu claimed a third of the vote in that contest, well ahead of George’s 22.5 percent. City council member Andrea Campbell and acting Mayor Kim Janey, who finished third and fourth, were both running to be the first African American elected to lead the city.

Janey had stepped into the top job when her predecessor, Marty Walsh, left to become President Biden’s Labor secretary.

The two-month sprint to Election Day pitted the long-dominant establishment side of Boston’s politics against an ascendent progressive wing. Walsh’s chief allies lined up behind George. Wu won backing from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), for whom she worked during Warren’s first run for the U.S. Senate, along with Sen. Ed Markey (D) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D), who represents Boston in Congress.

Most polling throughout the race showed Wu running far ahead of George.

Wu will have only two weeks to build a team to run America’s 24th-largest city; because Walsh left office before his term expired, his official successor will be sworn into office on Nov. 16.

She will immediately face delicate negotiations with the city’s police union, which hasn’t had a formal contract since its existing one expired last year, and a search for a new police commissioner.

Tags Ayanna Pressley Boston Boston mayor's race Ed Markey Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Marty Walsh Massachusetts Michelle Wu

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