An early runoff election in the northeastern US city of Boston has narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two women of color, ensuring that the city’s next elected mayor will be someone other than a white man for the first time in nearly 200 years.
Two councillors, Michelle Wu, who is of Taiwanese descent, and Anisa Esaibi George, a self-described Arab Polish American, won in Tuesday’s runoff, defeating three other candidates, including caretaker Mayor Kim Janney. Wu and Essabi George will face off in November.
Jenny was the first woman and Black City resident to hold the position of acting mayor. She was appointed after Mayor Marty Walsh was confirmed as Labor Secretary of the US Senate in March.
All five runoff candidates are people of color, a sign of rapidly changing demographics in the city, where the latest U.S. Census data show that Boston residents who identify as white make up only 44.6% of the population. Statistics also show that 19.1% of the city’s residents are black, 18.7% are Latino and 11.2% are of Asian descent.
Whichever woman wins in November’s election will rule a city with a history of racial strife.
Violence erupted in the mid-1970s, when the city sought to racially integrate its public schools to comply with federal law. At the time, mobs of white adults and teenagers threw stones at buses carrying black students to all-white schools in South Boston.
Racial tensions flared up again in Boston in the late 1980s, when Charles Stuart, a white man, falsely accused a black man of murdering his wife.
Some of the information in this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.