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Field of candidates for Boston mayor narrows by one

July 13, 2021 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — The field of candidates for Boston mayor narrowed by one on Tuesday as Jon Santiago, an emergency room doctor and state representative, dropped out of the running.

The departure of Santiago leaves just five major candidates, including four women of color, increasing the chances that Boston voters could elect both the first woman and first person of color to lead the city in November.

In an email to supporters, Santiago — who failed to reach the top tier of candidates — said he intends to support the “first elected woman of color” to lead the city but did not name a candidate.

The remaining candidates are vying to be one of the two top vote-getters in the Sept. 14 preliminary election. Mayoral races in Boston do not include party primaries. The top vote earners will go head to head on Nov. 2.

The candidates include current acting Mayor Kim Janey, who replaced former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh after Walsh resigned earlier this year to become President Joe Biden’s labor secretary. Janey is the first woman and first Black Bostonian to occupy the mayor’s office.

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Others seeking the office include three other women of color — current City Councilors Michelle Wu, Andrea Campbell and Annissa Essaibi George. John Barros, who is of Cape Verdean descent and the city’s former economic development chief, is also running.

The election is seen as a pivotal moment in the city’s political history, which for the better part of a century was largely helmed by Irish American men serving as mayor, with the notable exception for the late Thomas Menino, an Italian American and the city’s longest serving mayor.