South End State Rep. Jon Santiago, a former mayoral candidate, Wednesday endorsed acting Mayor Kim Janey. Santiago’s support helps Janey consolidate her support among voters from Spanish-speaking communities.
Santiago struggled to gain traction on the campaign trail for five months before bowing out of the mayoral race in July, vowing to “[support] the first elected woman of color to lead Boston” without spelling out an endorsement.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, he compared his career path to Janey’s and said she has shown “tremendous compassion, determination and ability” since assuming her interim role six months ago.
“Kim and I spent most of our careers doing something other than politics — me as a physician, and Kim as an advocate on behalf of the kids and families of Boston, fighting for equity and excellence in our schools,” said Santiago.
“Now,” he continued, “she is leading Boston through the pandemic — helping ensure that 70% of residents have gotten at least one shot while implementing bold measures to take on the Delta variant. She is delivering results to combat the housing crisis and doing so with empathy and resolve. And she is committed to a Boston that is both equitable and just.”
The endorsement comes as Janey’s campaign has stepped up efforts to reach Latino voters, with support from the Arroyo family as well as the local hospitality workers’ and property service workers’ unions.
Frontrunner City Councilor Michelle Wu also stepped up her Latino outreach with an endorsement from East Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, who represents the heavily Latino area.
Santiago’s backing means Janey has now secured two endorsements from state legislators. The other comes from State Rep. Nika Elugardo who represents Boston’s Mission Hill, Jamaica Plain and Roslindale neighborhoods, as well as a portion of Brookline.
Other candidates have also trotted out legislative endorsements from Boston’s delegation in the months since Santiago’s exit from the race.
Over the weekend, Councilor Annissa Essaibi George received the backing of Brighton State Rep. Kevin Honan.
Councilor Andrea Campbell has Roxbury State Rep. Chynah Tyler’s endorsement as well as Jamaica Plain State Rep. Liz Malia.
Wu, who according to polls is expected win one of the two ballot spots for the November election, has endorsements from seven state representatives, including North End State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, who announced his support Wednesday. She also has endorsements from two state senators and former South End State Rep. Byron Rushing, who Santiago unseated in the 2018 election.
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