An Irish-American will lead the city of Boston again, thanks to the heritage of the pair of preliminary election winners Tuesday in the race to replace current Mayor Tom Menino, an Italian-American.
The non-partisan contest featured a dozen candidates vying for the top two spots in order to advance to the Nov. 5 election, but it was state Rep. Martin Walsh, a labor leader, and city councilor John Connolly, who made the city's public schools his main issue, who topped the field.
Walsh, who resigned from his post as the leader of Boston Building Trades to run, garnered 18.5 percent support and Connolly received 17.2 percent, according to unofficial results reported by The Boston Globe.
"I am very optimistic about where our city is headed, but I want to make sure all of us get there together," Walsh said to supporters in Dorchester, according to the Globe.
Connolly, in Roxbury, said "This campaign is the face of Boston and we are working together for Boston's future."
The non-partisan nature of the race helped limit the typical vitriol seen in campaigning, locals said.
The third place finisher was Charlotte Golar Richie, a former city housing official, with 13.8 percent while Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley came in fourth with 11.3 percent.
Others running in the race were City Councilor Felix Arroyo, non-profit leader John Barros, media executive Charles Clemons Jr., City Councilor Rob Consalvo, City Councilor Michael Ross, health care leader Bill Walczak, former teacher David James Wyatt, and City Councilor Charles Yancey.
The Globe had endorsed Barros, the son of Cape Verdean immigrants, alongside Connolly. The Boston Herald endorsed Conley and Connolly.
Though a much lower profile position than mayor of New York City, leadership in Boston was thrust into the spotlight following the Boston Marathon bombings in April. Mayor Tom Menino checked himself out of the hospital while recovering from surgery to help with the recovery efforts. Police Chief Ed Davis, who won praise for his role in the aftermath of the attacks, announced his retirement Monday.