By Seth Daniel
What many thought was an endorsement by Mayor Martin Walsh of District 1 Candidate Stephen Passacantilli turned out to be approved literature – literature that looked very much like an endorsement, but apparently was not.
Many residents have been paying very close attention to the District 1 race over the last few months, and never any closer than now as the final two weeks come into view. And so it was many were surprised to see campaign literature from the Passacantilli campaign this week that had a picture of Passacantilli and the mayor, and read in Spanish, “Yo estoy con Stephen” or “I’m with Steve.”
Similar fliers in a Chinese dialect have also surfaced.
The surprise came due to the fact that Mayor Walsh had not officially gotten involved with an endorsement in the race, which involves two members of his administration – Passacantilli and Lydia Edwards.
On Wednesday, Walsh said he did not endorse, and the literature was approved by him, but should not be construed as an official endorsement.
“I didn’t endorse, but I approved a piece of literature out there,” he said. “I’m not endorsing in that race – yet. I don’t know if I’m going to do that. I’ve known Stephen a long time. I’ve know Stephen about 15 years. He quit his job four years ago to work on my campaign. I’m grateful for that. Lydia (Edwards) works for me as well – for the City. She’s a great candidate and I wish them both luck…
“I don’t know if I’m going to get involved in that race,” he continued. “I’m focused right now today on being elected mayor of the City of Boston. That’s a good race (in District 1). There are a lot of good issues being spoken about. It’s the first time in 10 years that seat’s opened up.”
He also said he had seen the Spanish fliers before they were distributed, and reiterated that even though it says he’s with Stephen, it doesn’t mean it’s an official endorsement.
The Passacantilli campaign confirmed that they had spoken with the mayor about the new literature and that he had approved the picture and the finished product. They said the key to it was that it was approved.
The buzz about the new literature brought up an older discussion about literature printed in a Chinese dialect and handed out on Preliminary Election Day, Sept. 24, that indicated Mayor Walsh was with Lydia.
Walsh also alluded to that on Wednesday.
“In the Preliminary, there were actually pieces of literature that had me and Lydia together,” said the mayor. “Those weren’t authorized – there were some drops in different areas.”
The Lydia Edwards campaign said they never had anything to do with the Chinese fliers and didn’t approve them either.
They said that was a group of private citizens that took matters into their own hands without consulting anyone.
“Our team never handed out literature in Chinese linking us to the Mayor,” said a spokesperson for the campaign. “The flier was paid for and dispersed by some private citizens who are members of the Chinese Progressive Political Association PAC. Our team never saw the fliers and really had no need to, seeing as CPPAC is its own political entity that endorsed the Mayor and Lydia.”