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Janey releases her first TV ad, as Boston’s mayoral candidates take to the airwaves to sway voters

Acting Mayor Kim Janey is the latest Boston mayoral candidate to release a TV ad.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

In a sure sign that the mayoral campaign is turning into the final stretch, all the major candidates for Boston mayor have unleashed TV campaign ads in recent days, hoping to sway likely voters with their personal stories, details of their background, and pledges to lead this city forward.

The latest comes from Acting Mayor Kim Janey who will launch the first television ad of her campaign Tuesday.

The ad is an upbeat production that focuses on her lived experience, campaign promises, and pledges to make sure every neighborhood experience safety and joy.

It opens with Janey, in a light-colored suit, standing on City Hall Plaza while holding up a large picture frame. Flashes of portraits of the city’s previous mayors appear in the frame.


“What’s the difference between me and every mayor before me? Experience,” the acting mayor says to the camera.

She mentions her experience during the school desegregation crisis as an 11-year-old, motherhood at age 16, and living in a shelter. “I know Boston’s challenges because I’ve lived them,” Janey says in the ad.

As acting mayor Janey says she is expanding affordable housing, reforming the Boston Police Department, and getting vaccines “into as many arms as possible.”

The 30-second ad, titled “Experience,” will air Tuesday in English and Spanish on cable and broadcast channels. The campaign said it spent $164,000 for the initial ad buy for this week alone, with more being planned for the remaining two weeks before the preliminary election on Sept. 14.

The candidates began campaigning online in the middle of the pandemic, making their pitches mostly in virtual forums. They have since unleashed their supporters to door knock. Now, the campaigns have shifted to the airwaves.

John Barros, the city’s former chief of economic development, recently released his first TV ad, shot in his backyard.


His campaign ad, called “The Table,” has a sentimental tone and shows a gathering around a large table in Barros’s family yard in Dorchester. He is seen holding his daughter and hugging supporters. In the ad, Barros says Boston is his home, where he has worked all of his life to unite people and strengthen communities.

“Our diversity is our strength, but only if we work together,” Barros says in the video, which also highlights his experience in building affordable housing, quality schools, and helping to bring jobs to the city. The video has been playing on cable and broadcast channels, including MSNBC and CNN, and is featured on YouTube.

The other campaigns have also released their own ads. City Councilor Michelle Wu’s ad tackles the high cost of housing and promises to make transportation more affordable. The campaign said it spent about $320,000 on the ad buy. It has been playing on cable, broadcast television, YouTube, and Hulu.

City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George’s ad emphasizes her experience as a daughter of immigrants, public school teacher, business owner, mother of four, and politician. It also highlights a handful of endorsements from local labor unions. The campaign said it spent $300,000 on the ad buy thus far, and plans to add more.

City Councilor Andrea Campbell’s ad focuses on her work as a city councilor for a more equitable Boston and highlights a central biographical theme of her campaign: “The system worked for me, but it failed my brother Andre. He died in prison.” Campbell’s campaign said it spent just under $200,000 to run the ad on local cable and broadcast television.


Meghan E. Irons can be reached at meghan.irons@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.