Massachusetts

Michelle Wu Picks Up Another Big Endorsement in Boston Mayor Race

“Michelle has a passion for service and a vision for our city that is grounded in her own lived experience and belief in the transformative potential of policy," Ayanna Pressley said of Wu.

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Last weekend it was Acting Mayor Kim Janey. This week it's Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. Boston mayoral candidate Michelle Wu has picked up a second key endorsement in less than a week.

“Michelle has a passion for service and a vision for our city that is grounded in her own lived experience and belief in the transformative potential of policy," Pressley said of Wu in a statement.

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"I'm thrilled and honored to have the support of our amazing congresswoman," Wu reacted.

The congresswoman's endorsement is a big deal for Wu, according to UMass Boston’s Erin O’Brien.

“Ayanna Pressley is the progressive fire brand of Boston,” O’Brien explained. “The Pressley endorsement could help Wu with fundraising among progressives… Does it translate to the voters themselves? That’s an open question.”

Wu’s opponent, Annissa Essaibi-George, says the endorsement that she wants, is that of the people of Boston. However, Essaibi-George did say that she had asked Pressley for her endorsement.

“Disappointed to not have her endorsement in this race, but as Mayor of the city I look forward to working with her,” said Essaibi-George while taking Friday's news in stride.

Boston Mayor Kim Janey has backed Michelle Wu to succeed her, giving the city councilor one of the most high-profile endorsements in the mayoral election so far.

While Wu has been making the news for her endorsements, Essaibi-George has been making her own headlines. In a Thursday radio interview Essaibi-George said one of the ways she is different from Wu, who is from Chicago, is that she was born and raised in Boston.

“It’s relevant to me and I think it’s relevant to a lot of voters whether or not they’re born and raised in the city,” she said.

The comment created some outrage from Wu supporters on social media, though Wu’s response was more subtle.

“When we start to identify other people by their birthplace, that’s what can create the feeling that we are shutting people out of the political process,” Wu replied.

Asked if it was hyper-sensitive of Wu supporters to see her comment as a slam, Essaibi-George said, “I think it was something to just talk about on Twitter. It’s a silly thing."

"This is a great city and I am grateful for anyone who comes to Boston 10 years ago, 20 years ago or two weeks ago,” she added.

In drawing distinctions, Essaibi-George also says Wu has not been out in the neighborhoods like she has.

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