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Mayor Walsh to back Tompkins in party race

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh is throwing his political weight behind Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins’s bid to chair the state Democratic Party, senior Democrats said Wednesday.

Walsh’s endorsement would signal his most recent effort to play a larger role in the state party, which has largely operated in a power vacuum since former governor Deval Patrick left office. And the move could help Walsh shore up support in Boston’s communities of color, whose voters were integral to his 2013 election.

Walsh is expected to formally announce his endorsement as early as Thursday.

State Democratic Party chairman Thomas McGee, a Lynn state senator, said last month he would not seek a second term atop the party.

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Two other Democrats are vying with Tompkins for the post. The party’s lieutenant governor nominee in 2014, Stephen J. Kerrigan, and longtime party operative Gus Bickford are also running. Kerrigan has claimed support from more than 100 state committee members.

The state committee will vote for its next leader at a Nov. 14 meeting.

Longtime Springfield Democratic powerbroker Raymond Jordan has also backed Tompkins.


Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at jim.osullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.