Michelle Wu defeats Annissa Essaibi George in Boston mayoral election

Boston city Councilors Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu appearing at a protest
Boston Mayoral Candidates, At-Large city Councilors, from left, Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu.
  • Michelle Wu defeated Annissa Essaibi George in the race to be Boston's next mayor.
  • The candidates are Democratic members of the Boston City Council with differing visions for the city.
  • Wu is Boston's first elected female and non-white mayor.

What's at stake:

Michelle Wu defeated Annissa Essaibi George in the general election for mayor of Boston.

Essaibi George conceded the race to Wu on Tuesday night, saying, "I want to offer a great big congratulations to Michelle Wu."

Wu is Boston's first elected female and non-white mayor. The city has historically been fraught by racial tensions, and its politics have long been dominated by white men both within and outside of City Hall.

Essaibi George and Wu, both at-large members of the Boston City Council, defeated several high-profile opponents, including the acting mayor and City Council president Kim Janey and Councilwoman Andrea Campbell, in the September preliminary election for the top two spots in the general election.

The two councilmembers ran to replace former Mayor Marty Walsh, who President Joe Biden tapped earlier this year to serve in his cabinet as Secretary of Labor.

The two candidates represent diverging visions of Boston, the state capital and economic powerhouse of New England.

Wu has proposed progressive policies such as eliminating fares on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MTBA), which runs the metropolitan area's public transit system, and abolishing the Boston Planning and Development Agency in seeking to overhaul how economic development within the city is managed.

Essaibi George, a close friend and ally of Walsh, had criticized Wu's bold policy plans, describing her rival's calls to end public transit fares as impractical. She also strongly emphasized her Dorchester roots and Boston upbringing.

"It's relevant to me, and I think it's relevant to a lot of voters whether or not they're born and raised in the city," the former public school teacher said during an interview with Boston's WGBH Radio.

Essaibi George also highlighted her public safety record, touting her plans to hire additional police officers and embrace community policing.

In the lead-up to Tuesday, Wu appeared strongly favored to win the general election over Essaibi George, with a recent poll from Suffolk University showing her leading her opponent by 32 percentage points, 62% to 30%. The survey included 500 likely voters and had a 4.4 percent margin error.

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