City, News, Politics

The winners of the Boston City Council preliminary elections

Voters at the Boston City Hall polling station voting in the 2018 Midterm Elections. Boston’s preliminary city council elections took place on Tuesday, narrowing down the field of candidates advancing to the Nov. 5 general election. RACHEL SHARPLES/ DFP FILE

The polls have closed and the (unofficial) results are in for Tuesday’s Boston City Council preliminary elections. 

With almost 45,000 ballots cast, voters had to choose between dozens of candidates all competing for one of the eight city council seats participating in Tuesday’s preliminaries, with the top vote getters in each race advancing to the general election on Nov. 5.

The races that participated in the preliminaries include the elections for one of four city councilor at-large seats, each of which represent the entire city, and four out of nine district councilor seats that represent specific areas of Boston.

Candidates for four out of the five remaining district council seats are incumbent councilors running unopposed, with the lone exception being incumbent Andrea Campbell of District 4, whose will compete against Jeff Durham as her lone challenger in the general election.

The race for city councilor at-large

Out of 15 total candidates, only the top eight vote getters will advance to November’s general election, where they will compete for all four city councilor at-large positions.

The eight candidates who will participate in the next round are — in order of most to least votes — incumbent Michelle Wu, incumbent Annissa Essaibi-George, incumbent Michael Flaherty, Alejandra St. Guillen, Julia Mejia, incumbent Althea Garrison, Erin Murphy and David Halbert.

Find the voter breakdown for the top eight candidates in the councilor at-large race below.

  • Michelle Wu, Incumbent – 26,622 votes, 19.41% of all votes
  • Annissa Essaibi-George, Incumbent – 18,993 votes, 13.85% of all votes
  • Michael Flaherty, Incumbent – 18.766, 13.68% of all votes
  • Alejandra St. Guillen -11,910, 8.68% of all votes
  • Julia Mejia – 10,799, 7.87% of all votes
  • Althea Garrison, Incumbent – 9,720, 7.09% of all voters
  • Erin Murphy – 9,385, 6.84% of all voters
  • David Halbert – 6,534, 4.76% of all voters

After the unofficial results were released, Wu said to The Daily Free Press she was thrilled by the results and promised to bring “bold, urgent action” towards climate justice, shared prosperity and racial equity if she is reelected in November.

“I’m so grateful for the support and for the conversations I had today with voters across the city,” Wu said. “It is an exciting time to see the energy around city government and people wanting to make a difference and improve their communities by getting involved.”

The race for District 8

Candidate Kenzie Bok thoroughly defeated the other four candidates in District 8’s preliminary election, which includes the majority of Boston University, garnering nearly three times more votes than Jennifer Nassour, the second highest vote getter and Bok’s competitor in November’s general election.

  • Kenzie Bok – 2032 votes, 50.38% of District 8 voters
  • Jennifer Nassour – 740 votes, 18.35% of District 8 voters

Bok said to The Daily Free Press she was glad her campaign was able to reach voters throughout the many unique neighborhoods that make up District 8.

“I’m obviously thrilled by just how much the district responded to our message pushing affordability city wide, about transportation, all these kind of big issues that face our city,” Bok said. “… I am extremely honored that we managed to win all five neighborhoods of the district.”

The race for District 5

Of the eight candidates that competed to represent Boston’s District 5, the two candidates moving onto the general election are Ricardo Arroyo and Maria Esdale Farrell.

  • Ricardo Arroyo – 2235 votes, 29.56% of District 5 voters
  • Maria Esdale Farrell – 1813 votes, 23.98% of District 5 voters

The race for District 7

Only three candidates competed in the District 7 preliminary elections, and incumbent Kim Janey handily took first place in a landslide. She will face of against second place Roy Owens Sr. in November.

  • Kim Janey – 2145 votes, 69.94% of District 7 voters
  • Roy Owens Sr. – 517 votes, 16.86% of all District 7 voters

The race for District 9 

District 9 was one of the more competitive races on Tuesday, with the top finisher Craig Cashman beating second place finisher Liz Breadon by only 89 votes. These two will compete once again during November’s general elections.

  • Craig Cashman – 1218 votes, 25.41% of District 9 voters
  • Liz Breadon – 1129 votes, 23.55% of all District 9 voters

Boston University alumni Jonathan Allen was running for District 9’s city council seat but did not make it to the general election, placing sixth out of seven candidates with 456 votes, or 9.51 percent of District 9’s voters.

Matt Chambers, 27, of Kenmore, voted at the polling station in Kilachand Hall and said he voted for candidate Helene Vincent in the race for District 8.

“I voted for Helene Vincent, followed her campaign pretty much since she announced it and I think she’s going to do a great job for for District 8,” Chambers said.

Danny Clanton, 21, of Kenmore, also voted at Kilachand Hall and said he voted for Wu in the race for city councilor at-large.

“I voted for Michelle Wu, because I worked on the last election cycle and saw her candidacy and I’m just really impressed by her as a candidate,” Clanton said. “So I definitely voted for her.”

Carol Goss Garland, 82, of Kenmore, cast her vote in Kilachand Hall and said she voted for Helene Vincent for District 8.

“I voted [Vincent], voted for her, because she came to our building,” Garland said. “She spoke with us for quite a while. And I think it’s very important that she lives in our neighborhood … Because especially with all the changes being made in Kenmore Square, it’s nice to have someone there to hear the voice of Kenmore Square.”

Mary Lulloff and Michelle Tian contributed to the reporting of this article.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed District 9 candidate Liz Breadon’s voter share as 466 votes and not 1129 votes. The article has been updated to reflect these changes.


  1. Check your D9 numbers again!

  2. bostonhollyandsnoop

    Other people ran for District 9 why did you single out Jonathan ? Also what about Lee???? or Don ? How did they place ?