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Andrea Campbell Seeking Commitments Before Endorsing Mayoral Candidate

BOSTON (CBS) - It was big news when Acting Mayor Kim Janey endorsed mayoral finalist Michelle Wu last weekend. But will it make a big difference in her contest with fellow City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George?

After all, Janey was endorsed by some of the biggest names in Boston politics, including former mayoral finalists Mel King and Tito Jackson, and she still finished fourth behind City Councilor Andrea Campbell.

So, when we spoke with Campbell, we wondered - do endorsements, even yours, matter that much? "I think some do and some don't, to be frank," she says. "I know mine would because a lot of my supporters have already reached out with hesitancy about both candidates."

So, Campbell is going public with an endorsement decision process that's usually kept private, in search of commitments the Black community can bank on.

"These are folks who for years have been made promises that elected officials are gonna close the racial wealth gap, move people out of poverty, make it less expensive to live in the city of Boston, root out the racial inequities in our policing model and so much more," says Campbell. "And many of these promises have not been kept."

Is she looking for promises written in ink that they can be held to after election? "That's exactly right," she says.

But it doesn't appear that the two finalists start out on equal footing with Campbell. "With some of Councilor Essaibi George's positions it's going to be difficult to meet what community and my supporters want with regard to policing reform," she says. "For Councilor Wu, it really involves specifics and really getting at the tangible things you're going to do."

Campbell told us Essaibi George's support for expanding the police force is a potential deal-breaker for her unless the candidate backs down from that position, which is very unlikely.

But she's putting Wu on notice that without more specific commitments, her endorsement might come with an asterisk or might not come at all.

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