David Halbert concedes fourth councilor-at-large seat to Erin Murphy

"While this is not the result we were hoping for, I am incredibly proud of the campaign we ran."

Erin Murphy and David Halbert. Handout/Globe file

Boston had another close race for its fourth and final at-large City Council seat, but one of the candidates conceded on Wednesday evening.


With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the unofficial election results show Erin Murphy with a 325-vote lead — or less than 0.1 percent of the 357,225 ballots cast — over fellow second-time candidate David Halbert.

Though initially, Halbert released a statement saying his team was awaiting “final confirmation that each and every mail-in ballot has been counted,” he conceded Wednesday evening.

“While this is not the result we were hoping for, I am incredibly proud of the campaign we ran and am thankful for the invaluable support of my family, my campaign team, and all of the volunteers who helped move our campaign forward every day, having the important discussions with voters,” Halbert said in a statement. “I have called to congratulate Councilors Mejia and Flaherty along with Councilors-Elect Ruthzee Louijeune and Erin Murphy on their victories, and wish them each the best.” 


Murphy, however, had already declared victory on Tuesday night. The Dorchester native and former Boston Public Schools teacher told reporters Wednesday morning that she received a congratulatory call from Mayor-elect Michelle Wu.

In the election Tuesday, incumbent at-large councilors Michael Flaherty and Mejia were the top two voter getters, followed by first-time candidate Ruthzee Louijeune, who received endorsements from nationally known Massachusetts Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley.

Halbert, a fellow progressive, also received the backing of Pressley, acting Mayor Kim Janey, and former Gov. Deval Patrick. A Dorchester resident who has worked for Patrick, several city councilors, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, and MIT, the 44-year-old campaigned on a more left-leaning platform, including rent control, increased affordable housing requirements, and police reform.

In contrast, Murphy campaigned on public safety and hiring more police officers. The 51-year-old also told the Dorchester Reporter that Flaherty had invited her to be a guest at the City Council’s meeting Wednesday afternoon.

“We knew it would be close for fourth, but we were able to pull out the vote across the city and not just in pockets that were in my base,” Murphy said.


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