Boston, Massachusetts was reducing its field of mayoral candidates for the first time to two individuals of color, likely both women – a simple change from the continuous string of white men elected mayor in the first two hundred years of the city. Electorates cast votes in preliminary mayoral voting that will select two candidates from a field of five key contenders, all of whom are people of color, while four of them women.
Two victors of the Tuesday contest will face off against each other on 2nd November, steering in a new era of the city that fought with ethnic and racial conflict. Interim Mayor Kim Janey, City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George, and the city’s ex-economic development chief John Barros were contending to be one of the top candidates.
Since more than two candidates have qualified for the 2021 Boston mayoral election ballot, a non-partisan preliminary election is set for today in order to determine which two candidates will make the general election.
The 2021 Boston mayoral election will be held on November 2. pic.twitter.com/NFy1x8y72Z
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) September 14, 2021
Essaibi George and Wu told their supporters on Tuesday night that they were the major two vote-getters, despite below one percent of votes officially matched, and both Campbell and Janey faced defeat. Still, the press not called the winners because the concerns only counted a small number of votes. However, Janey already made history by becoming the first woman and first Black Bostonian to took charge of the top Boston’s office in an interim capacity after ex-Mayor Marty Walsh resigned earlier this year to become the labor secretary of President Joe Biden.
Charles Stuart Case Inflamed Simmering Racial Tensions in Boston
Janey congratulated Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi-George in a statement on their wins. She added that it was a historic and feisty race, and she wished both of them good luck for the final election. All of the contenders of the race belong to the Democratic party, and mayoral races in the city don’t include party primaries.
Furthermore, the contenders hail from a different range of backgrounds. For example, Campbell and Janey are Black, while Wu’s parents migrated from Taiwan to settle in the United States. In the same way, Essaibi George calls herself a 1st generation Arab-Polish American and Barros is of Cape Verdean descent.
Wu maintained a lead over the other major four contenders during last some polls, setting up a hike among other candidates for the second place if her lead holds. Wu grew up in Chicago, and then to attend Harvard University and Harvard Law School, she moved to Boston. And in the current scenario, she is the only contender who was not born in Boston.
Since the 1970s, the city changed radically, when Boston found itself in the state’s attention over the chaos on by school desegregation, and the case of Charles Stuart once again inflamed mounting racial tensions in the late 1980s. In 1989, Stuart believed to kill his pregnant wife while he tried to blame the murder on an unknown Black man, which stimulated police to search Black neighborhood areas in vain for a suspect person. Later Stuart committed suicide by jumping from a bridge.
Political Change in Boston
According to the latest statistics of the United States Census, there is around 44.6 percent of the white people living in the city, 19.1 percent are Black residents, 18.7 percent are Latino inhabitants, and around 11.2 percent are residents of Asian nations. Moreover, the city changed itself politically too much. In 2018, Ayanna Pressley, the ex-Boston City Councilor, defeated Michael Capuano, the longtime Democratic United States Representative, to become the first Black female elected to Congress from Massachusetts.
The same year, an ex-federal prosecutor, Michael Capuano, won the election to become the first female district attorney of Boston and the first Black female district attorney of the city, and the first Black female to hold such a seat anywhere in Massachusetts. Then, in July, U.S. President Joe Biden nominated her to become the top federal prosecutor of the state.
Boston is also facing some sort of challenges such as redevelopment, due to which many residents were forced out of their residencies. In addition, the city’s new mayor will also face challenges like racial injustice, transportation woes, ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic, and policing to schools. One of the most prominent problems is the housing cost, which is overtaking the financial means of several residents and future homeowners. The race is also the first preliminary election in the history of Boston to allow mail-in voting. Last week, it also allowed early voting for the voters.
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