In what may be the most confusing of Boston political endorsements, a union guy named Marty Walsh has plugged a candidate in the rapidly developing mayor’s race.
No, not that Marty Walsh. This Marty Walsh is the business manager for Laborers Local 223. To further complicate things, Walsh the endorser is a cousin of Walsh the former mayor and current US labor secretary. Additionally, Secretary Walsh is a past president of Local 223, which represents 1,700 building trade workers.
In any event, Walsh the business manager has endorsed state Representative Jon Santiago, a South End Democrat who is one of the five major candidates vying for the mayor’s seat.
“The relationship between the building trades and the mayor of Boston and the future development of our city is essential and we know that Jon Santiago is the leader that will continue that tradition of partnership,” said Local 223′s Walsh.
He continued, “Boston has been fortunate to have had three decades of the strongest partnership between the mayor and the working people who build our city. This tradition has made Boston the global city that it is today and in that spirit, I’m so proud to endorse Jon Santiago and pledge our commitment to elect him the next mayor of Boston.”
Walsh’s Friday statement was the latest endorsement in the crowded mayoral race that includes Santiago, City Councilors Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu, and John Barros, the city’s former economic development chief.
Earlier last week, Campbell announced she had received the endorsement of Our Black Party, a national organization led by former Black elected officials from across the country.
Wu has nabbed the endorsements of Senator Elizabeth Warren and Teamsters Local 25, among others. Last month, Essaibi George announced the endorsement of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
Secretary Walsh, at his last news conference as Boston mayor late last month, said he would not be making an endorsement in this race.
“It is not right for me to play a role in the mayor’s race,” he said at the time.
The Dorchester Democrat was 21 years old when he became a member of Local 223 in Boston, which his father had joined in the 1950s after emigrating from Ireland and his uncle later led. Walsh, who was a state representative for 16 years, went on to also serve as president of the union, then was the head of the Building and Construction Trades Council. When he first ran for mayor in 2013, unions fueled his campaign with financial contributions and volunteers.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who became the city’s first Black mayor and first female mayor once Walsh left City Hall, has not yet said if she is running for a full term in this fall’s election. A person with knowledge of Janey’s plans said an announcement regarding her intentions is expected soon.