By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston City Council approved a petition Wednesday to waive a special election to replace Mayor Marty Walsh, who will have a confirmation hearing Thursday to become President Joe Biden’s Labor Secretary.

The city’s charter calls for a special election if Walsh leaves office before March 5. That would mean holding as many as four elections this year.

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Last month, councilor Ricardo Arroyo filed a home rule petition to get permission from the state to skip the special election because of health concerns amid the pandemic.

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“On top of it being incredibly unsafe from a health standpoint it’s also incredibly confusing for voters and it tends to make it that they don’t participate or they participate in less numbers,” said Arroyo.

The petition passed Wednesday with 12 “yes” votes and one vote of “present” from City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George, who is running for mayor.

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The move also needs to be approved by the state legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker, who has indicated he is in support of the change.

CBSBoston.com Staff