Editorial: All eyes on Janey for the moment; but it's early

And then there were six.

Kim Janey joined the field of candidates for Mayor on Tuesday using a superbly-crafted and compelling video that “introduced” her to the city she now leads. “I’m still not used to saying this yet,” she says as it opens. “But I’m Kim Janey and I’m the 55th Mayor of the city of Boston.”

Set to a soundtrack of R&B, soul and hip-hop, the video deftly traces Janey’s personal journey as a fourth-generation Roxbury resident who — as a child— was thrust into the turmoil of Boston’s often violent opposition to desegregation. It casts her as the successor to other trailblazing Black men and women who’ve sought to lead politically (including, full disclosure, my own wife.) It ends with a more direct appeal for support: “Your mayor is asking.”

Janey has only been “our mayor” since March 22 when former Mayor Walsh resigned to begin his duties as Labor Secretary. It’s been a juggernaut of earned media ever since: Here’s Kim Janey on MSNBC. There she is throwing out the first pitch (and possibly the only strike from a Sox player that day) at Fenway Park. There’s Kim Janey rolling out a $50 million relief package for tenants facing eviction. Here she is launching video campaigns trumpeting Boston’s vaccine initiative and boosting tourism and the hospitality industry.

For team Janey, it’d be hard to conjure a finer rollout, this news cycle that never stops showing love. If you’re one of the other five credible candidates for the office of Mayor, it’s been an onslaught.

But, here’s the thing: This too shall pass. Nomination papers won’t be even be out on the streets for three more weeks. On Tuesday, the major candidates in the race signaled that they understand that dynamic. They once again offered courteous remarks about their colleague and kept it moving.

“I congratulated acting mayor Janey on her decision to run,” Councillor Andrea Campbell told the Reporter. “When I jumped into this race back in September, it was never about who was in the seat or who might run, but because I recognize the urgency and opportunity for leadership that will not only bring our city together, but that will confront our painful history of racism and division and do the hard work of eradicating the inequities that I experienced growing up in Boston that continue to persist. I believe I am the best candidate to do just that, and am excited to continue earning the support of Bostonians across our City.”

Offered Councillor Annissa Essaibi George: “I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside her on the Boston City Council and know we share a deep love for the City of Boston and commitment to its future.”

Councillor Wu welcomed her “friend and colleague” and said she “looks forward to continuing the conversations across every neighborhood to deliver the bold changes that our communities need.”

John Barros told Reporter correspondent Mia McCarthy it was “exciting to see the diverse groups of candidates that have joined the race. It says a lot about Boston, how far we’ve come. We need experienced leadership right now. As Boston learns more about each candidate, the difference I think will be clear. And I believe my experience will stand up.”

Rep. Jon Santiago told us that “the more voices we have at the table, the better.”

“This is a historic field of candidates that is truly reflective of our city,” Santiago said. “Throughout this campaign, we’re going to have important conversations about how we write the next chapter of our Boston story by bringing people together to deliver for every neighborhood.”

This is a strong field of candidates and it’s even stronger with Kim Janey in the mix. Game on.

- Bill Forry

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