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Mayor Walsh again mum on rumors Biden may tap him for US labor secretary

Boston MA., 06/05/2019,  President-elect Joe Biden joined Mayor Marty Walsh for an impromptu stroll through the Seaport after touring Martin's Park with the Richard family. 
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/FILE
Boston MA., 06/05/2019, President-elect Joe Biden joined Mayor Marty Walsh for an impromptu stroll through the Seaport after touring Martin's Park with the Richard family. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/FILESuzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Tuesday refused to directly address rumors that President-elect Joe Biden may nominate him for US labor secretary.

Walsh, a close ally of fellow Democrat Biden and a former labor leader, was asked about the persistent rumors during the tail end of a COVID-19 press conference in Boston.

“What I’ve been focused on, quite honestly, in the last nine months and in particular the last five days, is focusing on COVID-19 in the city of Boston,” Walsh said. “I’m going to stay focused on that. ... There’s going to be whatever the speculation is or whatever the talk is, I’m going to let that” be.

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He’s been asked repeatedly about the potential cabinet post following published reports that he could be in the running for the job, along with California’s labor secretary, Julie Su.

“There’s certainly lots of rumors yesterday that I heard as well as you did,” Walsh said. “I read the story in the paper today. I am focused on getting these [COVID] numbers down. I’m focused on getting Boston through the pandemic. I’m focused on, in the next couple of weeks here, starting to build a budget as we move forward into the next fiscal year. So I really don’t have anything other than that to say.”

Asked if he had interest in the labor secretary gig, Walsh said “I love being mayor of Boston,” a line he’s deployed previously when asked about the Beltway rumors.

He also batted away a follow-up question Tuesday on whether he’d turn down the nomination if offered the post by the Biden camp.

“I don’t want to speculate on something like that,” Walsh said. “That’s all speculation, so I’m not going to answer a speculation question.”

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.

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Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.