With less than a month until the Boston mayoral election, City Councilor John Connolly and Mass. Rep. Martin Walsh were each endorsed by several Boston public officials to give them an edge going into the final weeks.
Connolly received an endorsement on Wednesday from North End Mass. Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, while Walsh won endorsements from two former rivals in the mayoral race, nonprofit executive John Barros and City Councilor Felix Arroyo on Tuesday.
“I am supporting John Connolly because he is a progressive leader who understands the importance of keeping families in the city by transforming our schools, creating more affordable housing options, and building safe and healthy neighborhoods throughout the city,” Michlewitz said in a Wednesday release. “I have worked with John on various issues and I know his commitment to improving economic opportunity for all Bostonians, no matter their background or where they live.”
Arroyo said in a Tuesday press release that Walsh would continue to fight for the issues that matter to all Bostonians, including finding pathways out of poverty and closing the achievement gap.
“While my campaign has come to an end, my commitment to our City has not,” he said. “Marty Walsh stands out as the candidate who uniquely understands the critical importance of these issues for Boston’s future. I am proud to endorse Marty and look forward to campaigning with him through Election Day.”
Barros said in a Tuesday release that he believes Walsh could satisfy the needs of Boston residents moving forward.
“We need a Mayor who will not only work to improve our education system, but one that will work to ensure every child has a quality educational seat … one that will work to ensure every neighborhood is benefiting from economic development, and ensure that every resident lives in a safe neighborhood,” he said. “Marty is the candidate that can do that.”
Connolly leads Walsh by seven points in a poll released Sunday conducted by the Boston Herald and Suffolk University.
Kate Norton, a spokeswoman for the Walsh campaign, said closing the gap is possible in the weeks ahead.
“This week has been all about momentum, and Marty has it,” she said. “We’ve seen real strong gains in the areas where we are hoping to grow, and as he visits the neighborhoods, Marty is getting fantastic support from voters.”
Connolly’s lead over Walsh decreased since the last Suffolk poll on Sept. 18 that had him at a 15-point advantage. He dropped from a 44-to-29 percent lead to a 41-to-34 percent lead, according the poll from Oct. 2 to Oct. 6 that surveyed about 600 voters.
David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said in a Monday press release that Connolly’s lead is mostly due to women voters in Boston.
“For Connolly, women are the difference in this race right now,” he said. “We see the gender gap widen still further among black and Hispanic men and women.”
Men surveyed back Walsh 39 percent to Connolly’s 38 percent, and women surveyed back Connolly 43 percent to Walsh’s 29 percent, according to the poll.
Natasha Perez, a spokeswoman for the Connolly campaign, said although the polls are favor Connolly, the campaign will continue to focus on voters and their main concerns going into the election.
“The poll results are great news, but we are focused on talking to voters every day about the issues that are important to them, including improving our public schools, building safe and healthy neighborhoods and creating jobs in every neighborhood across the city,” she said.
Several residents said the endorsements might help candidates gain some support in the election, but would not determine results.
“The candidates should reflect the population of the city,” said Louise Marvel, 54, resident of Boston. “Granted, [Boston Mayor Thomas] Menino has done a lot of good for the city. In the end, though, sure, Arroyo and Barros backing him [Walsh] may help him get some of the minority vote for the election, but if he gets in office, it will just be business as usual. Their voices won’t be that much a part of anything.”
Saul Goode, 33, a resident of Boston, said even with the political endorsements and polls, there is still too much time before the election to have voter influence.
“I personally still haven’t made up my mind and probably won’t until it [election day] gets closer,” he said. “Some people will hear a name they voted for [in the primary] and say, ‘Sure, I’ll do whatever he does,’ but it’s still too early for most people. Poll numbers won’t do much either.”
The mayoral election is scheduled for Nov. 5.