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Mayor-elect says he's staying out of council presidency fight

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh, who plans to leave his State House job on Jan. 3, said Thursday he won’t be wading into the battle over who becomes City Council president.

District 2 Councillor Bill Linehan of South Boston has the votes lined up, including the support of Councillor-elect Michelle Wu. Wu’s stance has sparked outcry from progressive activists backed Linehan’s opponent, former Quincy School principal Suzanne Lee, in November. Wu defended her decision in comments yesterday, saying that while she disagrees with many of Linehan's stances, she believes he is the "best person" for the job.

“I’m leaving that to the City Council to decide,” Walsh told the Reporter. “There’s been too many years where people get involved in that race. That’s not my place. Like I said in the police contract, I’m not a city councillor, I leave it up to the council. As far as the presidency, I leave that to the council.”

Walsh said he had no preference among the possible candidates for council president. Aside from Linehan, District 6 Councillor Matt O’Malley (Jamaica Plain) and District7 Councillor Tito Jackson (Dorchester) have also been angling for the presidency.

“I have a good relationship with pretty much everyone on the council and I look forward to, as the new mayor, working with the new council and collaborating,” Walsh said. “And I’m not going to start by getting involved in that fight.”

Walsh will be sworn in as the city's 48th mayor on Jan. 6. On the same day, the 13-member City Council will vote on the presidency.