(STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — It's Election Day in Massachusetts—and here in Boston, there are four incumbents facing off against four challengers for four at-large Boston City Council seats.
At-large City Councilors Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty, Althea Garrison, and Annissa Essaibi George are running to hold onto their seats against David Halbert, Julia Mejia, Erin Murphy, and Alejandra Nicole St. Guillen.
WBZ NewsRadio reached out to each of the candidates to see what they had to say as Bostonians hit the polls.
As a black candidate, David Halbert said he would bring diversity and perspective to City Council.
"We're a better City Council—we're a better city—when the City Council is more representative and reflective of the totality of the city, so that's one of the things that I hope to add to that as first black man to be elected in about two years since Councilor Tito Jackson left, and the first black man to be elected to a city-wide seat in 38 years, since Bruce Bolling in 1981."
"I've knocked on over 50,000 doors—I've been doing most of it myself," candidate Erin Murphy said. "I'm happy, I think I got people excited to come out and vote today."
Murphy said she's concerned with education, and making sure there's a great school in every neighborhood for every family.
Candidate Alejandra St. Guillen voted alongside Councilor Michelle Wu, who she said asked her to run in the first place in the video above.
"We're really proud of the campaign that we've run," St. Guillen told WBZ NewsRadio. "We've been in the field, knocked about 40,000 doors, have been at meet-and-greets and forums. It's just been an amazing experience."
"It's one of the best days of the year," Councilor Michelle Wu said of Election Day. "City government matters so much, and City Council is a very important platform to raise up the issues that are affecting peoples' lives."
She said she would be having lunch with colleagues in East Boston—"it's an Election Day tradition"—before moving on to other polling locations, closing out the day in Roxbury before heading back to Roslindale for an Election Night watch party.
Councilor Althea Garrison said that despite the drizzle, she was expecting a great turnout.
Garrison encouraged Bostonians to participate in the election, and said "The number-one key issue is over-development."
"Election Day is my report card," Councilor Michael Flaherty said, "making sure that the work that we're doing as a City Councilor At-Large is being well-received across the city, all 22 wards and 250 precincts. So, it's important for as many people as possible to come out to vote."
He said the "good news" in Boston is that people want to be here, but said the city faces the challenge of being too expensive a place to live.
"We need to be able to hold onto the middle class and create more affordable housing," he said. "We need to make sure that that opportunity is trickling out to all of our neighborhoods, so that everyone can benefit and prosper from one, the great economy, but two, all that Boston has to offer."
WBZ NewsRadio has yet to hear back from incumbent Annissa Essaibi George or challenger Julia Mejia.
Mejia posted a photo of her voting with her mother and daughter Tuesday morning.
"History making today as first Afro-Latina Immigrant on the Ballot in Boston city election!" she wrote.
Essaibi George posted a video Tuesday morning reminding Bostonians to get out and vote.