February 11, 2022
Boston City Council President Ed Flynn assumed the duties of acting mayor after Michelle Wu left the city Friday for a family funeral. Wu is set to return Saturday evening.
The president of the City Council becomes acting mayor when the mayor leaves the city, even if temporarily. But Flynn taking on the title comes with a unique historical note: The South Boston city councillor is the son of former mayor Ray Flynn.
Ray Flynn served as mayor from 1984 to 1993, before he left the job to become ambassador to the Vatican under President Bill Clinton. (The council president at the time, Thomas Menino, became acting mayor, and would go on to drop the “acting” after an election and serve for 20 years.)
Ed Flynn served in the US Navy for 24 years and worked in the Clinton administration’s Labor Department before he was first elected to the 13-member City Council in 2017. Flynn’s Council colleagues elected him as president in January.
The Flynns do not appear to be the first father and son to serve as the chief executive of the city: Josiah Quincy III and his son (Josiah Quincy IV) also kept the City Hall job in the family in the 1800s. Another Quincy family member, Josiah VI, won the office in 1900.