It’s Connolly versus Walsh.
The city councilor from West Roxbury and the state representative from Dorchester were the top two vote earners among the crowded field of mayoral candidates in Tuesday’s preliminary election. Walsh earned 20,838 votes, or about 18.5 percent, and Connolly earned 19,420 votes, or about 17.2 percent, according to the city election department.
Just missing out in third place was former state Rep. Charlotte Golar Richie, who earned nearly 14 percent of the vote, or 15,536 votes.
Connolly and Walsh rose to the top among a field of 12 candidates and will now campaign against one another for six weeks to be the next mayor of Boston.
The general election will take place Nov. 5.
While the race featured a diverse group of candidates who campaigned for months, turnout appeared light throughout most of the day. At noon, about 10 percent of the city’s 368,000 registered voters had cast ballots, according to the city election department.
That number crept up to about 30 percent by the end of the night.
After casting their ballots, many of the candidates spent the day greeting voters at various polling places, thanking campaign workers and making phone calls to urge supporters to get out and vote.
Connolly, who launched his campaign in February before Menino announced he would not seek re-election, addressed his supporters at his post-election party shortly after news outlets called him one of the top vote earners.
“I have never been so glad to be in second place in my life,” he said.
Walsh addressed his supporters about 11 p.m. at his post-election party in Dorchester.
“Tonight’s a great start, but it’s only a start,” he said. “We’ve got so much more to do in the next six weeks and we’re going to get there. And I ask you: Are you ready?”
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.