At Hearing, Boston City Council Considers Skipping Special Election

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – The Boston City Council is considering skipping the mandatory special election that would take place if Mayor Marty Walsh leaves his position before March.

Mayor Walsh has been picked as President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Labor. If he is confirmed by the Senate, someone will need to fill the rest of his term. The city charter says a special election would need to be held if Walsh steps down before March 5.

The Council aired their opinions at a public hearing on January 26.

If the special election goes on as planned, there could be four mayoral elections this year - two primaries and two general elections. Councilor Ricardo Arroyo is leading the charge to skip the special election – saying it will be a waste of money and a public health risk due to the pandemic.

His Home Rule Petition to skip the special election has received support from big names like Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

“Having multiple elections for the office of mayor in the same year, in the midst of the pandemic, is a serious threat to the health of our residents and communities…it will certainly contribute to the disenfranchisement of people of color, the disabled and low income communities,” Arroyo said.

Without the special election, a regular election would be held this November.

Boston City Council President Kim Janey called the idea of having a special election this year “At best foolish, and at worst dangerous.” Janey will become Acting Mayor if Walsh is confirmed as Labor Secretary.

The plan to skip the special election would need to be approved by the state legislature.

WBZ’s Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) Reports:

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(Photo: Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio)

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