Amid rampant rumors of a possible post in the Joe Biden administration, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Thursday the president-elect’s transition team has not been in contact with him about a gig and emphasized that he loves the job he has.
Speaking at an unrelated news conference outside City Hall, the Dorchester Democrat said he has been honored to be mentioned but stressed that his focus was on issues directly affecting the city, such as the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now, I’m a hundred percent focused on challenges here in the city,” said Walsh.
The mayor added that he is looking forward to working with a White House administration that believes in climate change, immigration rights, and housing.
“That’s going to be a real big difference," said Walsh.
Multiple outlets reported earlier this week that Walsh, formerly the head of a local building and construction trades council, is drawing support from top union leaders in the contest to become Biden’s labor secretary. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has been reaching out this week to seek union leaders' support for endorsing Walsh, citing unnamed labor officials familiar with the conversations, and reported the union federation could formally back him as soon as this week.
The AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 labor unions, represents 12.5 million workers.
Biden and Walsh have a history. At Walsh’s swearing-in for his second term, Biden spoke, calling Walsh “a mayor who will never forget where he came from.” Walsh promoted Biden’s economic plan in New Hampshire last summer.
Walsh has enjoyed support from organized labor, which helped propel him to power, throughout his political career.
If Walsh were to leave for a Biden administration post, the move would likely upend next year’s mayoral election. While Walsh has not publicly said whether he intends to seek a third term, recent campaign activity, including raising more than $300,000 in the month of October, could signal a ramp-up to a re-election bid for hizzoner.
There are currently two declared mayoral candidates: city councilors Michelle Wu and Andrea Campbell. The last time there was an open mayoral seat in Boston came in 2013, when Thomas M. Menino declined to seek a sixth term, which opened the floodgates to a dozen candidates who vied to be his successor. Ultimately, Walsh won that election.
Material from Bloomberg was used in this report.