BOSTON — Voters on Tuesday selected Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilor Tito Jackson to face-off against each other in November as Walsh tries to persuade voters to give him a second four-year term, while Jackson makes the case for change at City Hall.
Walsh and Jackson defeated two other, lesser-known mayoral candidates — retired police officer Robert Cappucci and Joseph Wiley, a health care worker — in the nonpartisan preliminary election.
The top two vote-getters, Walsh and Jackson, advance to the Nov. 7 final election.
The preliminary runoff generated lukewarm voter interest.
By 3:30 p.m. just 59 voters had cast ballots in a polling location at the Massachusetts Statehouse. At another polling location at the city’s West End branch library, about 70 voters had cast ballot by 2:30 p.m.
Polls closed at 8 p.m.
Elsewhere in Massachusetts, the MetroWest Daily News reported Yvonne Spicer, a vice president at the Museum of Science in Boston, topped a field of seven — followed by former town selectman and state Rep. John Stefanini — in the first election since New England’s largest town opted to become a city.
The two will compete for the chance to become Framingham’s first mayor Nov. 7.
In Lawrence, the Eagle-Tribune reported incumbent Mayor Daniel Rivera and former mayor Willie Lantigua won Tuesday’s preliminary election, setting up a re-match between the long-time rivals in November.
Boston’s Walsh, a former union official and state representative, emerged in 2013 from a crowded field to win the city’s first open election for mayor in two decades. The Democrat succeeded the city’s longest serving mayor, Tom Menino, who did not seek a sixth term. Menino died of cancer in 2014.
Walsh lists education and affordable housing as priorities. A recovering alcoholic, Walsh also has supported addiction prevention and treatment programs and continued Menino’s advocacy for gun control measures. He worked to lure General Electric from Connecticut to a new world headquarters in Boston, but was criticized for aborted attempts to bring the Summer Olympics and IndyCar racing to the city.
In January, Walsh gained national attention when he vowed to guard residents who feel threatened by actions announced by Republican President Donald Trump targeting so-called “sanctuary cities.”
“If necessary, we will use City Hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who’s targeted unjustly,” Walsh said at the time.
Jackson is a lifelong resident of the city’s Roxbury neighborhood who served in the administration of former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, including as Patrick’s political director. Elected as a district city councilor in 2011, Jackson chairs the council’s education committee and the Special Committee on the Status of Black and Latino Men and Boys.
He has advocated for criminal justice reform and for the use of body cameras by police officers.
Jackson would be Boston’s first black mayor if elected.
Associated Press writer Bob Salsberg contributed to this report.