Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on Tuesday welcomed City Councilor at Large Michelle Wu to run for his office, commending her for the decision she announced hours earlier.
"I have great respect for her and everyone who runs for office," Walsh said during his regular coronavirus update outside City Hall.
He also announced that he is allowing outdoor dining on city sidewalks and other public spaces through at least Dec. 1 and in private spaces through the end of Boston's public health emergency, extending a big driver of restaurants' income into the winter season.
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The bulk of reporters' questions at the news conference were about Wu's run for mayor, but Walsh didn't give substantive answers, saying he's focused on the city's response to the virus and its economy, among other pressing issues.
In fact, Walsh still hasn't revealed if he will seek re-election to a third term.
"Right now i'm focused on the job in front of me: the pandemic, the economy," he said. "Quite honestly, one of my number-one priorities right now is school."
He also noted that other people may run for mayor as well for the election, which is more than a year away. The primary will be held next September.
Wu released a video in three languages -- English, Mandarin and Spanish -- to announce her candidacy Tuesday morning after spending nearly seven years as an at-large city councilor. Wu is running on a campaign message of a "people-powered" transition to new leadership in Boston’s executive office.
“We’re in an unprecedented time as Boston faces a pandemic, an economic crisis and a national reckoning on systemic racism,” she said in a statement. “To meet this moment, we need leadership that matches the scale and urgency of our challenges.”
Walsh was actually the first one to break the news of Wu's mayoral run, telling The Boston Globe last week that Wu was planning to enter the race, which led some to criticize him for stealing Wu's thunder and not allowing her to make her own announcement.
"A reporter from the Globe asked me a question -- if I had received the call. He had heard I received a call form the councilor," the mayor said last week. "When I say no comment and I know an answer it's pretty not fair to do."
"I was asked a question by a Globe reporter," he added when pressed by a reporter. "I've answered every question you've asked me."
Boston has reported a total of 16,245 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, including 757 deaths.