ACTING MAYOR KIM JANEY, whose own hopes to win a full term as Boston mayor were dashed by a fourth-place finish in the September 14 preliminary election, endorsed finalist Michelle Wu on Saturday, delivering a huge boost to her campaign and the fight for support of Black voters in the city. 

“I have worked closely with Michelle Wu on the City Council and I believe she is the candidate with the record and the values to not only protect the progress that we have made, but to build upon that progress to create a city that is more equitable, more just, and more resilient,” Janey said in making her endorsement alongside Wu in Nubian Square in Roxbury. 

None of the the three Black candidates in the five-way mayoral preliminary made it to the final by placing first or second. Wu topped the field, followed by fellow at-large city councilor Annissa Essaibi George. With the mayoral contest now a one-on-one face-off between Wu and Essaibi George, support from the city’s Black community, which delivered the bulk of its votes in the preliminary election to Janey and Mattapan district city councilor Andrea Campbell, is up for grabs. Janey’s endorsement could be a crucial signal to Black voters. 

Essaibi George’s strength in the preliminary was concentrated in predominantly white precincts in her home Dorchester neighborhood, West Roxbury, and other sections of the city. Wu’s support was more broadly distributed. 

Janey, a district city councilor from Roxbury who was serving as City Council president, took the reins as acting mayor in March when Marty Walsh left to become President Biden’s labor secretary. Although she served on the council alongside both Wu and Essaibi George, she has closer ties with Wu. 

Just two years ago, they shared a campaign office in Roxbury, something Wu cited at Saturday’s announcement. Wu also referenced their work together to promote fare-free bus service, an effort that led this summer to Janey’s announcement of the start of a pilot initiative offering free service on the Route 28 bus route, which goes from Mattapan Square to Ruggles Station. 

Campbell, who finished third in the preliminary, has not yet made an endorsement in the final election. In a Boston Globe op-ed on Friday, she said her decision on whether to endorse a candidate will be based on whether they show concrete plans to “deliver racial equity in our health, housing, schools, public safety, and economic systems.”