BOSTON (State House News Service) — Rep. Jon Santiago, the preferred candidate of many state legislators, ended his Boston mayoral campaign Tuesday, winnowing the field to five with just more than two months to go until the Sept. 14 preliminary election.
Santiago announced in a video posted to Twitter that he would halt his bid. He did not immediately back any of other candidates.
"It's been an honor to join this historic field of candidates," Santiago said. "I am deeply proud of the race I've run, the relationships I've made, and the impact our campaign has had. But the people of Boston have made it clear, and I look forward to supporting the first elected woman of color to lead Boston."
Santiago, a second-term state representative, had the backing of House leadership and many of his Boston delegation peers, but lagged behind the race's frontrunners in recent public polls. Just 4.6 percent of voters in a Suffolk University-Boston Globe poll published June 29 said they supported or were leaning toward Santiago, compared to 23.4 percent for City Councilor Michelle Wu, 21.6 percent for Acting Mayor Kim Janey, 14.4 percent for Councilor Annissa Essaibi George and 10.8 percent for Councilor Andrea Campbell.
An emergency room doctor from the South End, Santiago launched his bid for Boston's top office in February while then-Mayor Martin Walsh was still awaiting confirmation to become U.S. labor secretary.
Santiago did not say in his announcement Tuesday if he planned to seek a third term in the House, though he would not need to file nomination papers to do so until May 2022.
"I'll be in touch soon about what's next, but for right now, I'm simply grateful for the amazing support that was given to me during this experience," Santiago said.
By Chris Lisinski, State House News Service