Council candidate claims Marty’s Walsh support — in Spanish and Mandarin

It’s the type of campaign flier that can get lost in translation.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh maintains he won’t endorse anyone in any City Council race, though a flyer being distributed by District 1 candidate Stephen Passacantilli’s team seems to make that suggestion, even if it’s in a different language.

The flier — printed in multiple languages including Mandarin and Spanish — shows a beaming Passacantilli rubbing shoulders with Walsh, with a headline that roughly translates to “I’m with Stephen” or “I support Stephen.”


Walsh had previously vowed to stay out of the race: both Lydia Edwards and Passacantilli worked for him, in the Office of Housing Stability and in the Office of Economic Development, respectively (both are on leave).

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Walsh told reporters last week, though, that he approved of Passacantilli’s flier. He noted that he met Passacantilli 15 years ago, and that Passacantilli quit his job four years ago to work for his campaign. “I’m forever grateful for it,” he said. But he stopped of saying he formally endorsed him.

Edwards is “great candidate and I wish them both luck,” the mayor said. “I don’t know if I’m going to get involved in that race . . . I think that’s a good race out there, there are a lot of good issues being spoken about.”

The mayor pointed out that a similar flier that lists policy issues that “Marty Walsh & Lydia Edwards Support” was sent out without his approval. The flier was produced and distributed by a third party organization, not the Edwards team.

Passacantilli, who ran ahead of Edwards in a three-way preliminary election — the two Democrats will compete in the Nov. 7 general election — said in a statement: “My relationship with the mayor goes back 15 years and is rooted in his help during my recovery. I’m grateful for his support then and now.”


Edwards, who picked up the endorsement of Charlestown community organizer Jack Kelly in the battle for votes in that key neighborhood, said she had no comment on Passacantilli’s flier, that she is focused on her own campaign.

“My campaign is focused on voters, on door-to-door, on making sure our message of being an independent voice gets out there,” she said.

Milton J. Valencia can be reached at milton.valencia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @miltonvalencia.