There’s a mayoral election on Tuesday. Has anyone even noticed?

Globe photos

City Councilor Tito Jackson (left) and Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Tuesday. The two candidates are vying for a four-year term to run the city.

By and Globe Staff 

It was like any other day in Dorchester. On Monday, the street was open and quiet, save for the swooshing sounds of vehicles passing.

Four years ago, Martin J. Walsh greeted supporters at Greenhills Irish Bakery in Adams Village, the site of election eve rallies of years past when organizers shut down the street, erected a stage, and hosted thousands of revelers.


But the chatter these days is about anything but the mayor’s race.

“I don’t hear much about it,’’ said Ed Brooks, owner of Landmark Public House restaurant on nearby Adams Street.

This year, there are no raucous rallies on Election Day eve, and the political frenzy that swept the city in the 2013 mayoral race was nowhere to be detected. Councilor Tito Jackson faces difficult odds in Tuesday’s election as he attempts to become the first challenger to unseat an incumbent mayor in nearly 70 years. Election officials predicted a dim turnout of 23 percent. ​

Less than 24 hours before polls open, many voters across the city expressed a similar sentiment about the race: What campaign?

In contrast to his 2013 campaign schedule, the mayor had promoted one public appearance on Monday. Instead, Walsh quietly moved about town to gatherings and events in South Boston, Grove Hall, and Dorchester, only releasing his full schedule late in the day through City Hall aides and after repeated Globe requests.


Meanwhile, Jackson, in his campaign, trekked across the city from Jamaica Plain to East Boston, Roxbury to Back Bay on Monday. In the South End, he stopped at senior housing on Washington Street where two people sat quietly in a community room. One man promised to vote for Jackson.

“I’m number one on the ballot,’’ the councilor told him. “You don’t need to go down.”

A woman nearby peppered Jackson with questions about what he would do as mayor. When she challenged his chances of winning, he responded by invoking Barack Obama and Deval Patrick and reminding her that they were counted out in their races as well.

On the streets, however, interest in the race varied.

Brian Levy, a 25-year-old South End resident who said he is registered to vote, probably won’t make it to the polls, he said. But then, he asked what race was in contention.

But Dawn Pulley knows all the ins and outs about the competition. A retired teacher, she has been keeping up. In her mind, neither Walsh nor Jackson are favorites. Both talk a good game, but they haven’t done much, she said. And they don’t come close to former mayor Thomas M. Menino, who held the job for 20 years, she added.


“It’s really hard to pick between those two people,’’ she said of the candidates. “I think they are both full of themselves.”

Still, she has carefully considered her options. Her vote, she said, will go to Jackson.

By midafternoon, Walsh was receiving the endorsement of the Dominican American Coalition of Massachusetts in Jamaica Plain. Before the event, he seemed at ease as he gave media interviews, and took pictures with passersby, including several young children who had just gotten out of school.

“Who are you?” one girl asked. “I’m Marty Walsh, who are you?” he replied.

Others knew exactly who he was. “What’s up?” he said to one. “High five?” he said, as he gave a fist bump. “You going to vote for me tomorrow?”

Four years ago, in his inaugural campaign for mayor, Walsh and his then-challenger, John Connolly, made pre-Election Day stumps throughout the city, including at the Washington Park Mall in Roxbury.

But there was no sign of the coming election there Monday, save for a few Jackson signs across the street. Some passersby said they have seen some City Council campaign signs throughout the neighborhood as well, but not the candidates themselves, and definitely not on a rainy day.

“It’s kind of quiet, man,” said Fred Ward, who works at a nearby funeral home. “I haven’t seen no action over here, at all. Not this year.”

He predicts Walsh will win, pointing to the difficulty of unseating an incumbent, but he figured there would be more excitement than the mayor’s challenger actually represents.

“Everybody should get a choice,” he said. “I hope we vote in this community. Roxbury is a strong community; I hope we got more voting power than it seems.”

Ana Lora, who was picking up groceries to make soup for her husband and 12-year-old son, acknowledged a lack of excitement in the race.

“It doesn’t look like there’s an election tomorrow,” she said.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Mayoral candidate Tito Jackson spoke with children on their way to school after voting at Holgate Apartments in Boston.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Mayor Martin J. Walsh posed for photos with Kaiden Perez (left) and his brother Davian after receiving an endorsement from the Dominican American Coalition.

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