Will there be a special election when Marty leaves?

Now that Mayor Martin Walsh has been tapped to join the Biden administration, political insiders are gathering a growing list of candidates who have declared their interest in running for Boston mayor and an even larger list of those quietly considering a run or being pressured by supporters to run.

Under the city’s charter, if the mayor leaves before his term is completed, the City Council president becomes acting mayor.

But what the mayoral election will look like, and when it will happen, remain open questions. How things will play out depend on two factors: when Walsh, if he is confirmed as Labor Secretary, will actually leave office; and whether the City Council and mayor adopt a home rule petition to waive a special election.

Early departure scenario

Under Section 13 of the city’s charter, if the mayor leaves within 16 months of the preceding municipal election (in this case,


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