Boston for Wu: Michelle Wu to be Mayor of Boston

Michelle Wu wearing a red dress stands in front of a podium with a purple sign that reads "Michelle for Boston." She is waving to the audience.
Michelle Wu became the first elected woman of color to serve as Boston's mayor, after Acting Mayor Kim Janey was appointed to the position following former Mayor Marty Walsh's departure for a position in President Joe Biden's cabinet. Photo by Talia Lissauer/BU News Service

By Mads Williams
Boston University News Service

BOSTON – City Councilor Michelle Wu will be the next mayor of Boston after winning the general election in a landslide victory on Nov. 2.  

Wu will become the first woman or person of color to be elected mayor of Boston, a position that has been exclusively held by white men since the founding of Boston’s city government in 1822. She received about 60% of the vote with just over half of the precincts reporting, about 20 points ahead of Annissa Essaibi George, who conceded.

“On this day, Boston elected your mom, because from every quarter of this city, Boston has spoken,” Wu said in her victory speech at the Boston Center for the Arts. “We are ready to be a Boston for everyone.”

Wu took the lead in the preliminary election on Sept. 14, where she received over 35,000 votes, about a third of all votes cast for mayor, and advanced to the general election. Essaibi George received just over 14,000 votes, or about 22% of the votes cast in the preliminary.

Wu was predicted to win in a landslide by multiple polls, including in a poll run by Suffolk University, The Boston Globe, and NBC10, which predicted 62% of voters would vote for Wu on Election Day and had her about 30 points ahead of Essaibi George.

Wu campaigned on housing affordability, education equitability, racial inequality and more – issues she has pledged to tackle during her term as mayor. She has also advocated for rent stabilization throughout her campaign, including in a recent WBUR Q&A event. She argued rent stabilization would not dictate “exact rent levels” like rent control, which was outlawed in Massachusetts in a 1994 ballot vote. 

“Housing isn’t just where you lay your head at night,” she said in the Q&A. “It is health, life or death, your childcare situation and it is perfectly reasonable for us to expect, demand and fight for everyone to have that stability in our city.”

Originally born in Chicago, Wu graduated from Harvard University in 2007 and moved to Boston permanently in 2009 to attend Harvard Law School, where, in her first semester, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren was her professor. Wu worked on Warren’s first campaign in 2012, and in January 2021, Warren endorsed her for mayor before then-Mayor Marty Walsh resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Labor. 

Wu also garnered endorsements from other establishment Democrats, including U.S. Senator Ed Markey, U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, Acting Mayor Kim Janey and three of her colleagues on the Boston City Council.

According to an agreement Acting Mayor Kim Janey, Wu, and Essaibi George made after the primary election in September, Wu will be sworn in on Nov. 16.

Talia Lissauer contributed reporting to this article.

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