By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) — Dorchester Reporter editor & publisher Bill Forry and managing editor Gin Dumcius spoke with WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller about the lead City Councilor Michelle Wu has in the Boston preliminary mayoral election polls, and how Andrea Campbell and Annissa Essaibi George are closing in on Acting Mayor Kim Janey for the second spot.

A new Boston preliminary mayoral election poll from Suffolk University this week found Wu comfortably in first place on the strength of across-the-board support.

But the poll also showed a wild scramble for the second ticket to the final, which Forry says matches what he has reported.

“It does bear out what we’ve been seeing, hearing, and feeling about where this election is going. The debate on Wednesday showed that too,” he said.

Forry also said the tight race for the second spot had an effect on Wednesday’s debate between the candidates.

“It was very interesting, and it shows the dynamics of a preliminary election as opposed to a general, that the clear front-runner, Michelle Wu, went untouched and unchallenged in most cases on the debate stage. Usually, a frontrunner is a target for every barb.”

Forry added the most of the barbs went against Janey, who he saw initially as the most likely second place finisher.

“That’s very much in question now. It’s a scrum for the second spot. And that you can tell with Andrea Campbell, John Barros, and Annissa Essaibi George all concentrating fire on Kim Janey.”

Dimcius said that Janey’s role as acting mayor has had advantages and disadvantages in the race.

“I think there’s both sides to it, upsides and downsides, and I think during the debate and really the last couple days you’re seeing the downside of it because you have to own all of the issues coming up.”

Dimcius explained the rise of COVID cases and deaths in the city may have add an impact on how voters view Janey.

“We are also still in the middle of a pandemic, and voters are keeping an eye on that. I’m sure voters, as we’re seeing at the national level in the president Biden’s approval rating, a lot of folks were expecting a city back to normal by July 4. That was supposed to be Independence Day from COVID. And that has not happened. So she’s wearing that heavily, along with the other issues at play.”

PART 2: Keller @ Large

In part two of Sunday’s interview with Forry and Dimcius, Keller asked if Annissa Essaibi George branding herself as the most pro-police candidate in the race is an effective political strategy.

Jon Keller