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2021 Boston mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2021 Boston mayoral election

← 2017 November 2, 2021 2025 →
Party Nonpartisan Nonpartisan

Mayor before election

Kim Janey (acting)

Elected Mayor


The Boston mayoral election of 2021 will be held on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, to elect the mayor of Boston, Massachusetts.

Entering 2021, then-incumbent mayor Marty Walsh was eligible to seek a third term, but he resigned as mayor on March 22, 2021, upon his confirmation as United States Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of Joe Biden.[1]

If more than two candidates run, a non-partisan preliminary election,[a] held on September 21,[2] will precede the November general election.[3]

Elimination of a potential special election

In early 2021, incumbent mayor Marty Walsh was expected to resign to take the United States Secretary of Labor position. His date of leaving office would normally determine if the city would be required to hold a special election for the remainder of his term, or if the acting mayor would serve the remainder of his term.[4] The Boston City Charter requires that a special election be held for the office of mayor when a vacancy occurs "within sixteen months after a regular municipal election."[5] As Boston held a municipal election on November 5, 2019, a 16-month window from that election extended until March 5, 2021. Thus, if Walsh had left his position as mayor before then, a special election to fill the remainder of his term would have normally been required, per the city charter.

Ricardo Arroyo of the Boston City Council proposed that the city charter requirement for a special election be overridden; such an override requires approval from Boston's city council and mayor, followed by approval by the state legislature and governor.[6][7] The city council approved a home rule petition, which would dispense with the special election, on February 3;[8][9] it was subsequently signed by mayor Walsh.[10] The petition next required approval from the state legislature (where it was filed as HD 1757, "An Act Relative to the Office of the Mayor of the City of Boston")[11] and governor. It passed in the Massachusetts House of Representatives on February 22,[12] It passed in the Massachusetts Senate on February 25,[13] and was signed by governor Charlie Baker on February 26, thus eliminating the need for a special election if Walsh vacated his office as mayor before March 5.[14][15] As Walsh was still in office through that date, with his confirmation pending with the U.S. Senate, any consideration of a special election became moot.[16] Walsh ultimately resigned as mayor on March 22, 2021, the same day that he was confirmed to his cabinet role.[17]


To appear on the ballot, candidates must file nomination papers at Boston City Hall by 5:00 p.m. on May 18 with 3,000 certified signatures of registered voters.[2]


Candidate Announced
John Barros (22724971587).jpg

John Barros
Former chief of economic development for the City of Boston (2014–2021)

Former Boston School Committee member (2010–2013)
Candidate for Mayor of Boston in 2013

March 4, 2021
Barros for Mayor logo (2021 Boston mayoral election).png

Michael J. Bianchi II Former account manager March 5, 2021

CampbellCodmanSquare (1).jpg

Andrea Campbell
Boston city councilor from 4th district since 2016

Former president of the Boston City Council (2018–2020)

September 24, 2020
Andrea Campbell for Mayor logo (1).svg

Annissa Essaibi George Boston city councilor at-large since 2016 January 28, 2021
Annissa Essaibi George for Mayor of Boston.png


Kim Janey
Acting mayor of Boston since March 2021

Boston city councilor from 7th district since 2018
Former president of the Boston City Council (2020–2021)

April 6, 2021
Mayor Janey campaign logo (2021).png

Jon Santiago Massachusetts state representative since 2019 February 23, 2021
Jon Santiago for Boston Mayor.png

Michelle Wu, Boston City Council Member (1).jpg

Michelle Wu
Boston city councilor at-large since 2014

Former president of the Boston City Council (2016–2018)

September 15, 2020
Michelle Wu for Mayor logo.svg



  • Dana Depelteau, Former hotel manager[25]




Andrea Campbell
State officeholders
Local officeholders
  • John Borders IV, community activist and faith leader[27]
  • Diana Hwang, founder of Asian American Women's Political Initiative, candidate for Massachusetts state representative in 2016[27][53]
  • Bill Walczak, activist, CEO of the South End Community Health Center, founder of Codman Square Health Center, and 2013 Boston mayoral candidate[27]
Annissa Essaibi George
Jon Santiago
State officeholders
Michelle Wu
Federal officeholders
State officeholders
Local officeholders


Poll source Date(s)
of error
Essabi George
Other Undecided
MassInc/WBUR/Dorchester Reporter April 7-11, 2021 522 (RV) ± 4.9% 4% N/A 19% 18% 6% 3% 3% 1% 46%
MassInc/GBH News September 11–15, 2020 400 (RV) ± 4.9% 4% 46% 23% N/A N/A N/A N/A 6% 18%


  1. ^ By law, all local elections in the City of Boston are non-partisan.
  2. ^ Key:
    A – all adults
    RV – registered voters
    LV – likely voters
    V – unclear

See also


  1. ^ "Marty Walsh Confirmed As Labor Secretary, Resigns As Mayor Of Boston". CBS News. March 22, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021 – via
  2. ^ a b "2021 Election Calendar". Boston Elections Commission. February 5, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  3. ^ Cotter, Sean Philip (May 30, 2020). "Coronavirus makes for tougher road for any Boston mayoral challengers against Walsh". Boston Herald. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  4. ^ DeCosta-Klipa, Nik (January 8, 2021). "Two candidates are already in the race to be Boston's next mayor. More are looking to join". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  5. ^ @NikDeCostaKlipa (January 7, 2021). "So... if Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is confirmed as Labor secretary before March 5, the city would have a special mayoral election sometime between May and July, its usual preliminary mayoral election in September, and the general election in November" (Tweet). Retrieved January 8, 2021 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ McDonald, Danny (January 8, 2021). "In light of Walsh departure, Boston councilor wants to override special election requirement". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  7. ^ Cotter, Sean Philip (January 13, 2021). "Proposal to eliminate Boston special mayoral election could be bad look, some councilors say". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  8. ^ DeCosta-Klipa, Nik (January 27, 2021). "Why the Boston City Council is looking to cancel a possible special election to replace Marty Walsh". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  9. ^ Cotter, Sean Philip (February 3, 2021). "Boston City Council passes law to bypass special mayoral election". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  10. ^ Cotter, Sean Philip (February 5, 2021). "Marty Walsh signs bill to override special Boston mayoral election, sends to Beacon Hill". Boston Herald. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  11. ^ Daniel, Seth (February 18, 2021). "Boston State Delegation supports waiving mayoral special election". The Boston Sun. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  12. ^ "House approves Boston mayoral election bill". WHDH. State House News Service. February 22, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  13. ^ McDonald, Danny (February 25, 2021). "Home-rule petition to skip Boston mayoral special election passes state Senate - The Boston Globe". Boston Globe. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  14. ^ "Boston Will Avoid Holding Multiple Mayoral Elections". WBZ. Associated Press. February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  15. ^ Fox, Jeremy C. (February 26, 2021). "Baker signs home-rule petition allowing Boston to skip a special mayoral election". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  16. ^ Murray, Stephanie (March 5, 2021). "WALSH's WAITING GAME — VAX SITES cost $1.1M per week — BAKER travels to FLORIDA after family death". Politico. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  17. ^ "Kim Janey 'thrilled' to become Boston's first Black, first female mayor". WCVB. March 22, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  18. ^ Cote, Jackson (March 4, 2021). "John Barros, former economic development chief in Boston, launches bid for mayor, becomes 5th candidate in race".  MassLive.
  19. ^ adamg (March 5, 2021). "Election roundup: Another candidate announces run for mayor; that makes seven now". Universal Hub.
  20. ^ "Andrea Campbell announces campaign to be Boston mayor |". September 24, 2020. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  21. ^ McDonald, Danny (January 27, 2021). "Councilor Essaibi-George jumps into the mayoral fray". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 28, 2021.
  22. ^ Roberto Scalese (April 6, 2021). "Janey Is Running For Mayor Of Boston". WBUR.
  23. ^ DeCosta-Klipa, Nik (February 23, 2021). "Jon Santiago enters 2021 race to be mayor of Boston". Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  24. ^ "It's official: I'm running for Mayor because Boston should be a city for everyone. Now's the time for bold, urgent leadership". September 15, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  25. ^ adamg (April 2, 2021). "Two more at-large council candidates, but one mayoral candidate is gone".
  26. ^ a b c d e f Cotter, Sean Philip (January 7, 2021). "What would happen with the Boston mayoral race after Marty Walsh leaves?". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gavin, Christopher (January 12, 2020). "With Boston mayoral race wide open, endorsements roll in for Wu, Campbell |". Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  28. ^ a b c d e Murray, Stephanie (January 8, 2021). "BIDEN taps WALSH for LABOR — MAYORAL RACE WIDE OPEN — Mass. man ARRESTED in CAPITOL CHAOS". POLITICO. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  29. ^ Bernstein, David S. (April 10, 2019). "2019 Boston City Council Race Sets Stage For 2021 Mayor's Contest". WGBH-TV. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  30. ^
  31. ^ Smith, Meghan (January 8, 2021). "If Walsh Is Out, Who Will Lead Boston's Mayoral Race? Jon Keller Weighs In". WGBH. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  32. ^ a b c Philip, Sean. "Who will run to replace Marty Walsh as Boston mayor?". Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  33. ^ Cotter, Sean Philip [@CotterReporter] (January 8, 2021). "State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz will not run for Boston mayor, her campaign said in a statement just now" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  34. ^ McDonald, Donny (March 21, 2021). "Just ahead of a Boston City Hall transition, Mass. pols trade jokes at virtual St. Patrick's Day breakfast". MSN.
  35. ^ Wintersmith, Saraya (March 3, 2021). "Boston Equity Chief Karilyn Crockett Resigns". WGBH-TV. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  36. ^ Leung, Shirley (February 7, 2021). "Is it a foregone conclusion that Boston's next mayor won't be a white male?". The Boston Globe.
  37. ^ Wintersmith, Saraya (March 3, 2021). "Boston Equity Chief Karilyn Crockett Resigns". WGBH-TV. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  38. ^ a b Ebbert, Stephanie (January 8, 2021). "With Biden's selection of Walsh, mayor's race in Boston heats up - The Boston Globe". Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  39. ^ Cotter, Sean Philip (December 31, 2019). "2020 will tell much about Boston mayoral race". Boston Herald. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  40. ^ Kilgannon, Maddie (January 27, 2021). "Garrison says she'll 'definitely be on the ballot' this year; The question is: which one?". Dorchester Reporter. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  41. ^ Kilgannon, Maddie (February 3, 2021). "Garrison says she's running for at-large council". Dorchester Reporter. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  42. ^ Jan 10, 2021. "Source: BPD Commissioner Gross Prepares Likely Run For Mayor Of Boston | WBZ NewsRadio 1030". Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  43. ^ McDonald, Danny; Estes, Andrea (January 28, 2021). "In Boston mayoral race, Essaibi-George says she's in and Gross says he's out". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  44. ^ "The Race to Lead Boston Is Suddenly Wide Open - The New York Times". Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  45. ^ Gavin, Christopher (January 14, 2021). "Boston city officials consider run for mayor |". Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  46. ^ Miller, Yawu (January 7, 2021). "Walsh tapped for Labor secretary, councilors line up for mayoral race". The Bay State Banner. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  47. ^ Buell, Spencer (January 18, 2021). "Count Them Out: The Boston Politicians Who Are Already Swearing Off a Run for Mayor". Boston Magazine. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  48. ^ "Marty Walsh Confirmed As Labor Secretary, Resigns As Mayor Of Boston". CBS News. March 22, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021 – via
  49. ^ "Former Suffolk County sheriff Andrea Cabral endorses Andrea Campbell for mayor - The Boston Globe".
  50. ^ a b "Andrea Campbell Receives Several Endorsements from Local Leaders – Beacon Hill Times". Beacon Hill Times. February 11, 2021. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  51. ^ Cotter, Sean Phillip (January 28, 2021). "Diane Patrick endorses Andrea Campbell in Boston mayoral race". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  52. ^ @andreaforboston (April 6, 2021). "I am grateful and proud to have the support of @MayorSiddiqui . I know together we can build a more equitable region to create thriving communities for all of our residents" (Tweet). Retrieved April 6, 2021 – via Twitter. line feed character in |title= at position 62 (help)
  53. ^ "Diana Hwang". Ballotpedia. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  54. ^ "Massachusetts Nurses Association endorses Annissa Essaibi-George". Boston Herald. March 11, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  55. ^ @edcoppinger (March 25, 2021). "I'm proud to endorse @iamjonsantiago  for Mayor of Boston. We both know how vital strong local businesses are to every community, and Jon is a proven public servant and the best choice to lead our city through an equitable recovery from COVID-19. #TeamSantiago #bospoli #mapoli" (Tweet). Retrieved March 25, 2021 – via Twitter. line feed character in |title= at position 37 (help)
  56. ^ @SDowneyNH (March 19, 2021). "More coverage from @BostonDotCom on the newest @IamJonSantiago endorsers, @staterepmike and @RepKevinHonan. Fun day for @TeamSantiago. #bospoli #mapoli #bosmayor" (Tweet). Retrieved March 25, 2021 – via Twitter.
  57. ^ "Jon Santiago picks up Aaron Michlewitz endorsement, leads in February mayoral fundraising". Boston Herald. March 4, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  58. ^ @IamJonSantiago (March 18, 2021). "Thank you to @staterepmike for your endorsement! You are a champion for equity across #AllstonBrighton and Boston and an important voice for our city in the State House. We are honored to have your support. #TeamSantiago #bospoli" (Tweet). Retrieved March 18, 2021 – via Twitter.
  59. ^ "Laborers union local backs Santiago". CommonWealth Magazine. 04 April 2021. Retrieved 06 April 2021. Check date values in: |access-date= and |date= (help)
  60. ^
  61. ^ Warren, Elizabeth [@ewarren] (January 9, 2021). "I've been proud to fight alongside Michelle over the last 7 years. She gets out and does the work that needs to be done to make a difference in people's lives. I'm thrilled to get on board the @WuTrain and endorse her run for Mayor of Boston. Join at" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  62. ^ Cyr, Julian [@JulianCyr] (February 25, 2021). "@WuTrain represents a fierce new generation of courageous leaders who aren't afraid to tackle tough, intractable issues. She leads by listening and always shows up & delivers for those left out and left behind. Michelle will be a transformational mayor #wutrain #mapoli #bospoli" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  63. ^ @danrivera01843 (January 10, 2021). "Tommorow [sic] I won't be able to say this: Boston should elect @wutrain as Mayor, my sister, who helped me in my recount in 2014 & help me win by 81 Votes! She would be a transformation al leader #ImWithHer #mapoli #bospoli" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  64. ^ "Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera Will Step Down Jan. 8 To Head MassDevelopment". WBUR FM. December 16, 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  65. ^ "Byron Rushing endorses Michelle Wu for Boston mayor". Boston Globe. February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  66. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Municipal Leaders from Across the State Endorse Michelle Wu's 2021 Boston Mayoral Bid". Boston Orange. December 10, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  67. ^ a b Kingdollar, Brandon L. "Two Cambridge City Councilors Endorse Michelle Wu '07 for Mayor of Boston | News | The Harvard Crimson". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  68. ^ "As Boston's Mayoral Race Shifts, Wu Lands Two Big Endorsements". News. January 11, 2021.
  69. ^ "Teamsters Local 25 backs Michelle Wu for Mayor". Dorchester Reporter. February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 23, 2021.

Further reading

External links

  • Bill HD.1757 "An Act relative to the office of Mayor in the city of Boston" via
Official campaign websites
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