Boston City Councilman Tito Jackson, who has made a name for himself championing underrepresented communities, announced Thursday that he is running for mayor.
Thelifelong Grove Hill resident revealed his intentions to run in a campaign ad on YouTubeposted on Wednesday. He formally announced his candidacy at Haley House Bakery Cafe in Roxbury.
Athree-time Democratic city councilman, Jackson has worked on helping lower-income residents by focusing on housing and education issues, and creating economic opportunity.
If elected in November, Jackson would be Boston’s first black mayor.
“I want to become the 55th mayor of the city of Boston to ensure that the city on the hill that has been welcoming and open to so many families … remains the city for middle- and working-class people,’’ Jackson told the Boston Globe. “We are a city that has lost our way.”
Jackson, who previously campaigned on behalf of friend and current Mayor Marty Walsh, said he chose to run for the office after becoming disillusioned with Walsh’s administration. He cited as one example thefailed bid for the 2024 Olympics. Walsh is also a Democrat, and his administration has been mired in a federal investigationand also had afailed bid forIndyCar races in the Seaport.
Jackson has an uphill battle. The last mayor who sought re-election and lost wasJ.M. Curleyin 1949.
Campaign finance reports also show he had $64,884 in his political account as of Jan. 4, compared with Walsh’s more than $3 million, according to the Globe. Other reports cite a substantially smaller amount in Walsh’s war chest, but still more than Jackson.
Jackson is the first major candidate to announce he is challenging Walsh, who is finishing his first term.
Candidates have between April 19 and May 16 to gather the necessary papers from the Election Department. Mayoral candidates must submit 3,000 signatures of registered votersby May 23.