BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) - No matter who wins the top slots in Tuesday's preliminary elections, the results for mayor will be historic. On the last day of campaigning, the major candidates used what may be their last chance to get the word out to voters, letting residents know who they are and what they stand for.
The woman who has the mayor's office would like to keep it. Acting Mayor Kim Janey emphasized how the city has dealt with the ongoing pandemic.
"To see all of the ways that people have come together," she told voters and reporters outside the Ashmont MBTA station, "It has been a difficult eighteen months, but Boston is a resilient city.
Janey wore sequined studded shoes to her swearing in at city hall that said 'WOW,' 'BAM,' and 'POW,' overlooking the bricks where a protestor tried to stab a man with an American flag over busing protests decades ago. Janey was one of those bused kids. Elected as a district 7 councilor in 2017, she'd like to drop the 'Acting' from her title.
"It is a city of hope. It is a city of possibilities. I am proof of that standing here as the first woman mayor of our city, the first person of color to represent our city."
In Jamaica Plain, the candidate leading in the polls spoke about lifting up disadvantaged Boston residents.
City Councilor Michelle Wu is the daughter of immigrants from Taiwan and grew up in Chicago. She was elected to the city council in 2013 and became the first Asian American City council president in 2016.
"I'm a mom with kids in Boston Public Schools. I live in a multi-generational home with my mom," Wu told voters. "I know the challenges our city is facing. I also have a decade of experience in City Hall, knowing exactly how we can move the levers of government to close these gaps and deliver the changes we need."
When asked by WBZ's Karyn Regal what matters in this race, Wu said "keeping families in Boston" is paramount.
"We are feeling the pressures all across every neighborhood of displacement, of the cost of living going up. That's on the housing side, that's access to schools, that's transportation."
City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who's been surging in the polls, made her pitch in Hyde Park.
The district 4 councilor spoke to a parent whose child has been stranded in the ongoing bus driver shortage, and then addressed reporters.
WBZ's Karyn Regal asked what Campbell would tell still-undecided voters, and she said "This city gave a poor girl from Roxbury everything she would need to be successful. I've also done the work to create more affordable housing, improve our schools. That leadership won't change going forward, and it's distinct from every other candidate in this race."
Doubling down, Councilor Campbell said her track record is "unique in the lived experience and the record of accomplishment."
Elected to the city council in 2015 and serving as president from January 2018 to January 2019, Campbell pushes hard on education and the situation at Mass and Cass.
Boston City Councilor Anissa Essaibi George told voters Monday that education and public safety are her priorities, a touch of Menino's 'urban mechanic' was apparent in her as well.
Essaibi George highlighted the important work of "Filling potholes, picking up the trash, making sure that the lights are turned on" while campaigning in the North End.
A child of immigrants raised in Dorchester, Essaibi George was first elected City Councilor At-Large in 2015, taking office in 2016. Commercials and hot pink signs are all over the airwaves and sidewalks, pushing Essaibi George's experience.
"I'm the right person for the job at this moment," she told WBZ's Karyn Regal. "As a small business owner, as a former classroom teacher, we've got a lot of work to do."
John Barros, former Chief of Economic Development under Mayor Walsh, is looking to gain ground in the final hours before election day.
Barros is a Roxbury native raised by Cape Verdean immigrant parents, and also served as director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Intiative, a nonprofit with a mission of empowering residents of Roxbury's Dudley neighborhood and fighting gentrification.
Barros tweeted on Monday that he met with Black real estate professionals about closing the opportunity gap, a central focus of his campaign.