John Barros, the city’s chief of economic development, is stepping down from his City Hall post, in a move some political observers see as inching ever closer to a bid for mayor.
Barros submitted his resignation letter to Mayor Martin J. Walsh recently, saying this will be his last week in the role, according to Barros’s letter, dated Feb. 19, that was obtained by the Globe. Walsh is expected to be confirmed as the new US labor secretary.
“I’m writing to formally share my intent to resign from the position of chief of economic development for the City of Boston, effective February 26, 2021,’' said Barros’s letter said. “I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me in 2014 to establish and lead the new cabinet of Economic Development, focused on growing our city’s economy in an equitable and sustainable way.”
The letter comes as the race for mayor is heating up, with state Representative Jon Santiago, an emergency room doctor and second-term lawmaker, announcing this week that he will vie for the job.
City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Michelle Wu, and Annissa Essabi George have formally declared their candidacies, and Dorchester resident Dana Depelteau has also filed campaign paperwork to run.
Barros, who was a candidate in the 2013 preliminary contest and later joined Walsh’s administration, has hinted that he will be entering the mayoral race soon, saying he was having “really encouraging conversations across the city.”
In his resignation letter, Barros highlighted his achievements after seven years in the job, including expanded economic opportunity in the neighborhoods. The mayor’s office confirmed that Walsh has received Barros’s resignation letter.
“John has been a valued member of my team, and we’re grateful for all his work on behalf of the people of Boston,” Walsh said in a statement. “We wish him well as he starts this new chapter.”