Mayor Michelle Wu endorsed labor attorney Benjamin Weber in the District 6 City Council race Tuesday, in the latest instance of Boston’s chief executive throwing her support behind a contender for the city’s legislative body this election season.
“Ben’s commitment to community starts with his own family and the very personal understanding of what it means to raise kids in our neighborhoods,” Wu said in a statement. “As a BPS dad, youth soccer coach, neighborhood council member, and attorney fighting for workers’ rights, Ben has spent many years actively working for a bright future for our city. He’ll be an effective partner on the policies and constituent services for Boston to be the best city for families.”
Weber is facing off against IT director William King in a district that includes Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury. Weber and King ousted the embattled incumbent, Councilor Kendra Lara, in the preliminary election last month. In that contest, Weber captured 42 percent of the 11,700-plus ballots cast, King 37 percent, and Lara 20 percent.
Lara had struggled to maintain the support of her constituents after a June 30 car crash, when authorities say she slammed an unregistered vehicle into the side of a Jamaica Plain home while driving without a license.
In a Tuesday statement, Weber said he was “deeply honored” to earn Wu’s support.
“We share the same progressive ideals and, if elected, I look forward to working with the Mayor to make the City a healthier, more equitable place to live for all Bostonians,” he said.
The endorsement was first reported by Politico.
Tuesday’s announcement marks the fourth council endorsement Wu has made this election season. She earlier endorsed three candidates who previously worked for her: Enrique José Pepén in District 5, which includes Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Roslindale, where Wu lives; Sharon Durkan in District 8, which includes Beacon Hill and Back Bay; and Henry Santana, who is vying for one of four at-large seats. (At-large councilors represent the entire city.)
Durkan, a Democratic activist, already won the District 8 contest earlier this year in her first run for public office when she defeated Montez Haywood in a special election to replace Kenzie Bok. Durkan will again face off against Haywood in November. Durkan worked on multiple Wu campaigns, including acting as Wu’s finance director from 2015 to 2017, and committee director from 2017 to 2020. She was a political adviser to Wu from 2022 until this spring.
Santana most recently worked for Wu as her director of civic organizing, a $105,000-a-year City Hall post.
Pepén earlier in the year worked as the city’s executive director of neighborhood services, a $120,000-a-year post. Wu’s support of him may have proven to be crucial in his effort to unseat incumbent Ricardo Arroyo, a onetime Wu ally and a known and reliable progressive vote on the council. Ultimately, Pepén, a 26-year-old who had never before run for office, advanced to the final election, along with another first-time candidate, former Boston police officer Jose Ruiz. Pepén topped the District 5 field, while Arroyo was eliminated in the preliminary.
Wu’s political network is also evident in Weber’s campaign. His campaign manager, Aran Hamilton-Grenham, was the deputy organizing director for the mayor’s 2021 campaign, working for the campaign from March to November of that year.