BOSTON (CBS/AP) — State Rep. Martin Walsh and City Councilor John Connolly have secured the two spots in the November election to succeed Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who is retiring after 20 years in office.
Unofficial returns from Tuesday’s preliminary election showed Walsh and Connolly leading 10 other candidates. Walsh had 18% and Connolly had 17%.
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Boston has had only three mayors since 1968. Menino, who took office in 1993, opted against seeking a sixth term after battling a series of health problems and hospitalizations in recent years. He voted Tuesday morning but would not say whom he chose.
The 46-year-old Walsh has attracted strong labor backing for his campaign. The Dorchester resident worked as a union laborer before being elected to the Massachusetts House in 1997.
“This is a race about who we are – about values, and about whether Boston will be a city for all its people, in every neighborhood, not just some,” Rep. Walsh said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to all the people who made tonight’s result possible. Tonight’s a great start, but it’s only a start, and we have a lot more work to do over the next six weeks.”
Connolly, a 40-year-old father of three, has made education the central focus of his campaign. He was the only candidate to declare his intention to run for mayor before the popular Menino announced he was retiring.
“It’s gratifying to see that our message resonated in every neighborhood in the City,” Connolly said in a statement. “I’m running to be Mayor of all of Boston because every child should receive a high quality education, and every person deserves to live in a safe and healthy neighborhood.”
Voters were choosing between 11 men and one woman. The hopefuls included City Councilor Felix Arroyo; former school committee member John Barros; radio station owner Charles Clemons; Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley; City Councilor John Connolly; City Councilor Robert Consalvo; former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie; City Councilor Michael Ross; community organizer Bill Walczak; state Rep. Martin Walsh; former schoolteacher David Wyatt; and City Councilor Charles Yancey.
The city says that 113,222 votes were cast in the primary. That’s 30% of the city’s 368,000 registered voters.
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