Former Labor Leader Walsh Wins Boston’s Mayoral Election

The state lawmaker is the first new occupant of City Hall in 20 years

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State Representative Martin J. Walsh won a narrow victory in the Boston mayoral race Tuesday in the first contested elections since the city’s larger-than-life mayor Tom Menino took office 20 years ago.

Walsh, a second-generation construction worker who drew support from a diverse swath of Boston that included the city’s blue collar communities and progressive activists alike, was leading his opponent John Connolly 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent with 90 percent of precincts reporting. Connolly conceived the race after 9:00pm Tuesday night.

Walsh benefited from a a surge in outside spending that reached Boston in the campaign’s final weeks.

Connolly, a Harvard-educated city councilor who campaigned on a message of education reform, drew the support of Boston’s gentrifying communities.

Walsh will take over from Menino, who in his two decades leading New England’s largest city became a familiar figure to thousands of residents. Menino announced in March that he would not seek a sixth term.

Read Paul McMorrow on the campaign which became a personal slugfest.