BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Voters in Boston will decide whether to return Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh to City Hall for another four-year term.
Walsh is opposed Tuesday by City Councilor Tito Jackson, who, if elected, would be Boston’s first black mayor.
Both candidates have focused on core neighborhood issues including affordable housing, education, and reducing crime during a relatively low-key campaign.
No incumbent Boston mayor has lost a re-election bid since the legendary James Michael Curley.
“I’m excited,” Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens after voting at the Lower Mills branch of the Boston Public Library Tuesday morning. “Election day for me is like the Super Bowl, I love every single one of them even when I’m not on the ballot. I’m usually always involved in a campaign somewhere.”
He would not predict the outcome of the race, but did say he would be out all day trying to pick up some last-minute votes.
“I feel good about today,” Walsh said. “I’m not going to say what I think, but I really feel good about it.”
Jackson cast his vote at his Elm Street polling station, a stone’s throw away from where Walsh voted.
“I’m number one on the ballot, and I look forward to being number one again at 8 p.m.,” Jackson said.
Jackson spoke to WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kendall Buhl about continuing the fight for affordable housing that his late father, community activist Herb Jackson, devoted his life to.
“I think about my dad every single day when I do this work,” Jackson said. “He would say, ‘That’s what love does to people’ … you know what, knocking on doors, for me, is what love does to people.”
Walsh said housing and the economy were major issues in this election.
“Two of the biggest issues we hear every single day is housing and economic opportunity, building wealth for folks,” Walsh said. “We have a plan for the next four years, and you know, this isn’t about learning on the job like I had to do four years ago, it’s about being able to hit the ground running.”
Jackson criticized Walsh for making overtures to big businesses.
“Boston can’t be judged by what we do for GE or Amazon,” he said. “That’s not how we judge the city. We judge the city by what we do for those who are struggling.”
Secretary of State William Galvin says he expects turnout to be on the “lower end” of the scale for recent Boston elections.
But despite expected low turnout, there are many significant mayoral races throughout the state.
Galvin is predicting stronger turnout Tuesday in several other Massachusetts cities with heated mayoral elections, including Newton, Lawrence and Lynn.
Framingham is holding its first mayoral and city council elections since residents voted to become a city earlier this year.
John Stefanini and Yvonne Spicer are the mayoral candidates there, and there are predictions that turnout could be as high as 50 percent.
In Lawrence, it’s a rematch of sorts, with current Mayor Dan Rivera taking on former Mayor Willie Lantigua, just as he did in 2013 when he narrowly beat him by just 81 votes.
And in Newton, the mayoral race is between Scott Lennon and Ruthanne Fuller. Both want to maintain the quality of schools and maintain affordable housing.
The only fireworks in this race came when Lennon said that, while he’s been working, Fuller was able to take some time out to be a full-time mother.
“The dust-up was around a certain segment of words, I take responsibility for that, but the intent was to talk about my experience in government,” Fuller told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones.
But Fuller told Jones she has moved on.
“This is not a race about gender or class,” she said. “This is an election about who has the vision and the experience to deliver … Scott and I gave each other a big hug a few days ago, and he’s a good man.”
Galvin explained Monday that the expected low turnout should not determine the importance of the races.
“These are really important elections at every level,” Galvin said. “Certainly at the local level, these are where the decisions that affect people where they live are made, whether it’s zoning issues, public education, transportation. These are all very significant races.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)