Keller @ Large: Boston Mayor Preliminary Election Ensures Production of 2 Qualified Finalists


BOSTON (UKTN) – A crowded ballot, wacky candidates, an end to the campaign filled with blatant lies.

Fortunately, this is the California governor’s recall, not the preliminary Boston mayoral race. Here we have five serious and well-accredited applicants competing in a relatively distinguished case that is guaranteed to produce two qualified finalists.

Something worth celebrating.

So what will we be watching Tuesday at 8 p.m. when political consultant Wilnelia Rivera and pro tempore city council chairman Matt O’Malley join me and the WBZ-TV News team for live coverage on CBSN Boston?

Turn out.

It’s the oldest cliché in the book, but it’s true. Modest turnout helps candidates with the best grassroots organizations and regular voters, in this case most likely Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George. Higher turnout means irregular and first-time voters show up, perhaps drawn by a charismatic candidate (Andrea Campbell?) And / or a chance to make a statement (Kim Janey?).

(Graphic WBZ-TV)

But the size of Tuesday’s vote will make sense beyond the candidates it benefits from.

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A slow move in the direction of Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s forecast (100,000, barely a quarter of registered voters) could indicate an electorate considerably less impressed with the “historic” nature of the race than were the electorates. chatty classes. It could also speak to the trend of the COVID era that we have seen in local politics – a membership of the status quo that sent Ed Markey back to the Senate and almost every legislative holder to Beacon Hill. Maybe Bostonians just aren’t that anxious for change; after all, former Mayor Marty Walsh’s favor odds are still top of everyone on the pitch to succeed him.

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On the other hand, greater turnout would be a sign that the ‘new Boston’ that has emerged in recent years – in particular, the increased weight of communities of color and the emergence of younger voters and activists – is ready. to take matters into their own hands. Do not rule this out, if not in the preliminary until the final in November; there’s a reason neither Walsh nor any white man tried to run this time around.

As for the candidates, the implications of turnout are pretty clear: A healthy vote in majority-minority neighborhoods signals good news for Campbell and / or Janey, perhaps even a better-than-expected performance for John Barros.

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If the vote-rich neighborhoods of South Dorchester, South Boston, Hyde Park and West Roxbury show up in greater numbers, it might be a good night for Annissa Essaibi George.

List: Locations of drop boxes for mail-in ballots

Wu has shone throughout the city in two previous re-elections topped the list for her seat on the Extraordinary Council; a strong vote from liberal areas like the Jamaica Plain, Back Bay and the South End would testify to the appeal of the Wu campaign.

But whatever the outcome, the city will be well represented by two serious and intelligent candidates with an undisputed commitment to the city. No Californian dream here.



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