As Boston's mayoral election approaches, Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George have support from different groups.
A new TV ad for Wu shows the candidate rallying her base of support — the progressives — a group 2013 Boston Mayoral Finalist John Connolly says is valuable and "dedicated, really, to community organizing and getting the vote out, so those are a big benefit to her."
Essaibi George has her own base, including key local unions: police, firefighters, nurses and several of the building trades.
"She's created a perception of being the union candidate by having those name-brand unions, but the fact is, Michelle Wu also has a number of unions in her corner," Connolly said.
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Wu's include the hotel and restaurant workers and SEIU, which Connolly says are known for their grassroots power.
"These are unions with a lot of members in Boston who are really experienced at organizing and getting the vote out," he said.
But Wu doesn't seem to promote herself as a union candidate or dispel the perception that Essaibi George is.
"She's a very smart politician with great political skills," Connolly said. "And if she doesn't raise it, then she benefits both from having those unions and from not having any perception of being beholden to anyone."
In the battle over the coalitions, Connolly paints a strong case for Wu, citing the progressives, the unions and the endorsement from leaders in the Black community, including Mayor Kim Janey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley.
So where does that leave Essaibi George?
"Annissa needs to go compete for Black and brown voters," Connolly said. "It's her only way to get back in this game, I think, and to start closing the gap."
One other group that has yet to throw its support behind a candidate is the Boston Teachers Union.