By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Will Tuesday’s endorsement of Boston mayoral candidate Michelle Wu by Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins make a difference?

After all, Wu’s competitors all have endorsements to boast about.

READ MORE: Climate Protesters Arrested After Chaining Themselves To Boat Outside Gov. Charlie Baker's Swampscott Home

Kim Janey is backed by prominent Latino politicians Felix and Ricardo Arroyo. Andrea Campbell has been endorsed by Rep. Chynah Tyler, chair of the Legislature’s Black and Latino Caucus. John Barros is supported by key figures from the Walsh administration, including former Policy Chief Joyce Linehan.

And check out the logos over Annissa Essaibi George’s left shoulder in her new TV ad touting endorsements from nurses, EMTs and firefighters.

READ MORE: Severe Thunderstorms, Scattered Rain Showers Expected Through Tuesday Evening

Political endorsements do matter at times. The 2013 endorsement of Marty Walsh by prominent activist Charlotte Golar Richie, whom he defeated in the preliminary, was considered important validation for him among black voters.

But Bostonians are an independent-minded breed known to ignore endorsements from politicians and the newspapers.

And that’s why the significance of the Tompkins nod may lie more in the bypassing of the three black candidates by one of the city’s top black elected officials. “I think they’re all great people, they would be good stewards for any part of this city,” said Tompkins. “But Michelle is family.”

MORE NEWS: DiGiorno Recall: Frozen Pizza Boxes May Be Mislabeled, Have Undeclared Allergens

If enough black voters agree, or find Essaibi George an appealing alternative, the assumption that they will rally behind a black candidate may prove flawed.

Jon Keller