By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — This week WBZ-TV Political Analyst Jon Keller spoke with two reporters who are following the Boston mayoral election closely.

Jon Santiago dropped out of the race on Tuesday. While doing so, he said “I look forward to supporting the first elected woman of color to lead Boston” which excludes John Barros, who is still campaigning.

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“I would say the window is definitely closing for Barros and really anybody who is polling lower. The polls are showing that Kim Janey and Michelle Wu are at the top, followed by Annissa Essaibi George and Andrea Campbell,” said Dorchester Reporter Managing Editor Gintautus Dumcius.

He agreed the polls show voters want a woman of color in office but said there is “a good chunk still undecided.”

Beyond race and gender, policy will now become the focus.

“Policy decisions made by the Acting Mayor Kim Janey who has the huge advantage of being the acting mayor but with that comes the downside of making policy decisions that can be unpopular. Last night, as an example of a double-edged sword with the Boston School Committee voting unanimously to approve a new admissions policy for the exam schools in Boston. It’s a very controversial subject, one that frankly a lot of candidates have been avoiding. Kim Janey though, is the person in charge,” said Dorchester Reporter Publisher Bill Forry. “For many voters, this will be unpopular, white voters in particular, and Asian voters who have signaled they’re not happy with this plan.”

Keller @ Large: Part 2

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Forry said police reform is a big issue as well, and public safety will become increasingly relevant in the election as the summer goes on.

In New York, the candidate to win the Democratic primary ran on a campaign of cracking down on crime with no talk of defunding the police.

Dumcius said due to New York’s ranked-choice voting, it’s like comparing apples to oranges with Boston.

“But certainly in terms of the primary win of a moderate speaks to a number of voters who might not always be vocal, that might not always be on Twitter, but they’re following the race and they’re interested in voting,” Dumcius said.

“If the polls hold and it ends up being Janey and Wu in the final, that’s two progressives facing off, but it’s possible there is a lane for someone who is more conservative,” he continued.

Late Boston Mayor Tom Menino also served as acting mayor before he was voted into office, proving that the acting mayor position can be a huge advantage. Is it working for Janey despite the heat?

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“People in the city were looking to Janey for not really radical change here but steady leadership, continuity from Walsh to her. That’s what she’s given so far and I think that’s why she’s where she is in the polls,” said Forry.

CBSBoston.com Staff