Tito Jackson Launching Mayoral Run After Disappointment In Marty Walsh

BOSTON (CBS) — “I always knew that I had a calling to serve people,” says Boston City District 7 Councillor Tito Jackson in a video accompanying today’s announcement that he’ll challenge Marty Walsh for mayor this year.

But when did that calling turn into active opposition to the incumbent?

Just three years ago, Jackson actively campaigned for Walsh. But disillusionment came quickly, and he emerged as one of Walsh’s biggest critics, leading student walkouts over school funding, and trashing Walsh’s ill-fated bid to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics here.

Tito Jackson announced his bid for Mayor in Roxbury Thursday. (WBZ-TV)

Tito Jackson announced his bid for Mayor in Roxbury Thursday. (WBZ-TV)

At his speech this afternoon in front of Roxbury’s Haley House Bakery, Jackson zeroed in on Boston’s yawning income gap, and tried to turn the signs of Boston’s economic boom – an abundance of construction cranes, soaring property values, and the much-touted General Electric move of its corporate headquarters here – into a negative for Walsh, arguing that too many of the poor and middle-class are getting cut out of the party.

And so we wondered – does he feel like he was fooled by Walsh back in 2013?

“I was disappointed,” said Jackson. “I believe there are many other things we could have done with the dollars that we had. And I was disappointed when we kicked 7th & 8th graders off yellow school buses and put young people in harm’s way. I was disappointed when commissions that could have helped people in the city were voted down, and I was disappointed when we focused on the Olympics instead of the actual city plan we should have.”

Is that enough to make the incumbent sweat? Not today it wasn’t.

“I welcome anyone to run for mayor of the city, that’s the beauty of our democracy,” says Walsh. “Anyone can run.”

More from Jon Keller
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