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Keller @ Large: Michelle Wu Is Ahead In Boston Mayoral Race, What Can Annissa Essaibi George Do?

BOSTON (CBS) -- Michelle Wu started out with an advantage in the Boston mayoral race and is holding strong, according to William Forry, the Editor and Publisher of the Dorchester Reporter. He and Dorchester Reporter Managing Editor Gintautas Dumcius joined Jon Keller to discuss the latest in the election.

"Michelle Wu is, I think, meticulous executing a campaign plan that probably has been in place for some time and so far it's advantage Wu and I don't see that changing soon," said Forry.

Wu has received an endorsement from Acting Mayor Kim Janey.

Andrea Campbell finished third in the preliminary election. She has withheld her endorsement so far and asked the candidates to make specific pledges to the Black community.

Dumcius said Campbell is looking to use this endorsement as leverage in her own career. "She's still a young person in politics and she's looking to preserve her future options so she's going to make her decision on her own time," he said.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley has also endorsed Wu.

Watch Part Two: 

So what can Essaibi George's campaign do to counter the endorsements?

"I think one thing that her team must be considering is looking at who voted in the September 14 preliminary and then going down that list, going down that voter file and making sure that their supporters, family members, cousins, whatever, came out and crank out the turnout in parts of Dorchester and South Boston," said Dumcius. "The other factor is the super PACs, Essaibi George said that she wanted them out but at least one of them, according to one source telling me, that one of them is still full ahead, wants to raise a million dollars and keep going. If those go negative, that could be a factor too."

Forry credits Essaibi George for "finding a lane" and sticking to it during the preliminary election. "It's really a math issue here. Who's left on the vine for Annissa Essaibi George for her base? I don't think she maxed out her base on September 14, no one did, it was 25% of the city that voted. There are plenty of votes out there. The trouble is there are plenty of votes out there for Michelle Wu that she didn't claim."

Based on MassINC polling, Forry said Wu finished second in the preliminary election in all of the precincts where Essaibi George finished first. Essaibi George didn't do well in the districts that are up for grabs now and Wu is ahead there.

"It's a steep climb, and it would be for any candidate, not just Annissa but she has her work cut out for her here," said Forry.

Wu and Essaibi George will face off in their first one-on-one debate on Wednesday, October 13 in the WBZ-TV studios. You can watch the debate on WBZ-TV or CBSN Boston.

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