The results of Boston's preliminary mayoral election

Boston City Hall on the day of the preliminary municipal election, Sept. 14, 2021.

The city of Boston is gearing up to elect a new mayor, and with the election just around the corner on Nov. 2, a preliminary election was held to see which two candidates would be moving on to become the two choices on the ballot in November. 

As of Wednesday, Sept. 15, Michelle Wu took victory in the preliminary election with 33.4 percent of the votes, and Anissa Essaibi George took second with 22.5 percent of the votes, making these two the candidates for the final mayoral ballot.

Candidates for the mayoral race included: Michelle Wu, Anissa Essaibi George, Andrea Campbell, Kim Janey, John Barros, Robert Cappucci, Jon Santiago, and Richard Spagnuolo. 

Results of the preliminary election slowly came in early morning Wednesday, Sept. 15, with the Associated Press declaring Michelle Wu the winner at around 3 a.m.

Michelle Wu has been the front runner of the mayoral race polls for the past few weeks. A poll from the Boston Globe and Suffolk University from early September showed Wu leading at 31 percent, followed by acting mayor Kim Janey at 20 percent, and followed by City Councilor Anissa Essaibi George closely behind at 19 percent. 

Acting mayor Kim Janey conceded the race around midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Janey later wrote in a statement, “While we are still waiting on some results, it appears that we have come up short in the election. I want to congratulate Michelle Wu and Anissa Essaibi George on their victories this evening. This was a spirited and historic race, and I wish them both luck in the final election.” 

Michelle Wu was elected to the Boston City Council back in 2013, becoming the first woman of color to serve as City Council president. She is originally from Chicago, but moved to Boston to attend Harvard University. Wu has also worked under the late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Anissa Essaibi George has been an at-large city councilor since 2015. She is a former school teacher and owns the Stitch House in Dorchester. Essaibi George is the daughter of immigrants from Tunisia and Poland. 

Wu and Essaibi George held events on Wednesday to thank their supporters.  

Wu spoke at Forest Hills Station, while Essaibi George spoke at Mike’s Diner in the South End. 

The preliminary election shows a shift in Boston, which for the past 200 years has “elected an unbroken string of white men to be mayor,” according to NBC. Michelle Wu and Anissa Essaibi George are both women of color and the other candidates, Kim Janey, John Barros, and Andrea Campbell are people of color. 

“It’s been an honor to be part of this historic field. And for the last year, we have seen an incredible conversation all across every neighborhood across every community, so I’m humbled to be part of this moment in Boston,” stated Wu on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

“It’s certainly pretty exciting, I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet. To have this success indicates that things have changed, but there’s also a lot of work to do,” stated Essaibi George. 

Both Michelle Wu and Anissa Essaibi George have seven more weeks of campaigning before the final mayoral election on Nov. 2.

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