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Ruthzee Louijeune releases TV ad, in rare move for a Boston city council candidate

Ruthzee Louijeune.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

In a rare move for a Boston city council candidate, the campaign for at-large hopeful Ruthzee Louijeune has released a television ad that will air in the 3-week run-up to the Sept. 14 preliminary election, a move that could help her break through to voters in a race that has been largely overshadowed by the high-profile mayoral contest.

The 30-second spot highlights Louijeune’s work for Senator Elizabeth Warren, her defense of tenants facing eviction, and also lays out her vision for Boston, advocating for universal access to affordable housing, excellent schools, and a “future and a planet we can all look forward to.”

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“I believe in what Boston can become,” Louijeune intones in the ad, which will start airing on Tuesday.

The campaign has spent more than $85,000 in a cable and digital ad buy, the largest investment in a television ad for an at-large council race since Representative Ayanna Pressley’s run for city council in 2011, according to Louijeune’s campaign. While all five of the major mayoral candidates have now released television ads, Louijeune’s ad is the first and so far only TV spot in the crowded at-large council field.

A first-time candidate, Louijeune has previously served as senior counsel on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign. She has earned the backing of Warren and the Greater Boston Labor Council. She has previously worked as an attorney at Perkins Cole LLP. Most recently, she launched her own legal and advocacy business, The Opening PLLC.

Louijeune, a graduate of Columbia and Harvard Law School, has raised more money than any other council candidate since the start of the year, leaving her with more than $180,000 in the bank as of the end of July.

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Louijeune’s campaign has said she would be the first Haitian-American to serve on the council if elected.

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Seventeen candidates are currently running for the four at-large posts on the council. The preliminary election on Sept. 14 will winnow the field down to eight candidates, who will face off in the Nov. 2 general contest.

The at-large contest features two incumbents — Julia Mejia and Michael Flaherty — who both hold sizable campaign war chests and are favored in the race. The biggest challenge for many of the non-incumbents, political observers have said, is breaking through an already saturated news cycle filled with the historic mayoral race, which will see the city elect its first mayor who is a person of color, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five vacancies on the council — created by one retirement and four mayoral hopefuls — have left the body in line for the most turnover it has seen in a single election in nearly three decades.

Globe correspondents Jasper Goodman and Jack Lyons contributed to this report.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.