BOSTON (CBS) – The two women facing each other in a battle for Boston mayor embraced in a hug at a Boston City Council meeting the day after the preliminary election.

“City workers were here until the very, very, late, or I should say, early morning hours of today, ensuring that every ballot that was received was counted,” said City Councilor Michelle Wu.

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Even with the margins shifting between other candidates in the early hours, Wu was the decided front runner. “We had a fun night last night,” she said. “I’m so honored for this chance to continue having this conversation with Boston, and to be building for the changes that we deliver in office,” said Wu.

“We worked together on the council for six years,” said City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George. “She’s been a wonderful colleague.”

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But now the friends are competitors. Assaibi George took second place, as the field of candidates was cut from five to two. “I’m excited about the next six weeks. I’m excited about this campaign. I’m excited about the work I’m about to do,” she said.

“I want to congratulate Councilor Wu, Councilor Assaibbi George,” said Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who waited until Wednesday afternoon to speak publicly for the first time since the election. “I’ve been in every single neighborhood as the mayor of Boston and will continue to lead our city throughout these difficult times to make sure that residents are good and well-served.”

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The two now head into a historic November 2nd mayoral race. It will be the first time a woman of color will be elected to be mayor of Boston.

Christina Hager