One day after he breezed through a Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination for US Labor Secretary, Mayor Martin Walsh has signed off on a City Council measure to skip a special election to pick his successor. In signing the home rule petition- which city councillors approved Wednesday— Walsh next sends the matter to state lawmakers, who must consent to the change to the city charter. Finally, once approved in the Legislature, the petition will need the approval of Gov. Charlie Baker, who has indicated that he will support it if it reaches his desk.
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The petition— authored by Councillor Ricardo Arroyo— would bypass a two-round election to pick a new mayor in the spring and summer and let voters wait until September and November to choose a new mayor. In the interim, Council President Kim Janey will serve as mayor until November.
Walsh had been reserved about whether he personally supports skipping a special election, telling the Reporter most recently that he would likely follow the will of the council. The Boston Herald was first to report that he signed the petition on Friday evening,
State lawmakers could take up the petition as soon as Monday.