Boston mayoral race: Janey giving ‘serious consideration’; Campbell releasing coronavirus plan

The Boston mayoral race continues to heat up, with likely soon-to-be acting mayor Kim Janey saying she’s giving a run for mayor “serious consideration” as she hires a political heavy hitter and candidate Andrea Campbell releasing a coronavirus plan as she vows to keep fighting.

Janey, the current city council president, has brought on political communication outfit Northwind Ventures, a firm led by major Massachusetts power player Doug Rubin.

Rubin was one of the architects of Deval Patrick’s successful long-shot bid for governor, and he’s also been a senior adviser to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. He also has some less-successful ventures under his belt, including repping a bid for an East Boston casino, presidential hopeful Tom Steyer and an ill-fated Boston 2024 Olympics push.

If Mayor Martin Walsh, President Joe Biden’s pick for Labor secretary, is confirmed by the U.S. Senate and leaves, Janey will become acting mayor — and the first Black and female chief executive in the city’s history.

Janey, the district councilor from Roxbury, hadn’t addressed publicly whether she’ll run for mayor in the days since the Walsh announcement last week, but she said Tuesday through her new political comms team, “I am giving it serious consideration, but my focus at this moment is ensuring a smooth transition for the people of Boston.”

City Councilors Campbell and Michelle Wu have been running in the 2021 mayoral race since September, and Walsh’s apparent departure has thrown the door wide open for others to speculate about getting into the race, including state Sen. Nick Collins, City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George and Police Commissioner William Gross.

Campbell, the district councilor from Mattapan, released a coronavirus plan on Tuesday that focused on vaccination, testing and getting people back to school and work. She said the city needs to do a better job making sure there’s “equitable and effective” vaccine distribution and testing in all parts of the city.

“Right now, we still have communities that are saying we still need more testing — we still have communities saying we need more investment in organizations on the ground to get people tested,” Campbell told the Herald.

Campbell, insisted that the changing dynamics of the race — and that she’ll likely be running against a fellow Black woman, Janey, in a city whose politics have long been dominated by white men — don’t mean her approach does.

“There is enough room for more than one woman of color in this race,” Campbell said when asked if she’s worried that would split the vote too much. “Our strategy doesn’t change.”

Campbell reiterated her campaign’s original focus on racial and neighborhood equity and insisted on the fight for equity, “I am uniquely qualified to do that.”

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