In Massachusetts, four at-large seats and four district seats on the Boston City Council are up for primary on September 24, 2019. The council has 13 seats; the other five seats are also on the ballot this year but are not holding a primary because two or fewer candidates filed per seat. The candidate filing deadline was May 21, and the top two vote recipients in each primary will advance to the general election on November 5.
Incumbents are making re-election bids in five of the eight races on the primary ballot. All four at-large incumbents—Michael Flaherty, Althea Garrison, Annissa Essaibi George, and Michelle Wu—are running for re-election, and they face 11 challengers in the primary. Since there are four at-large seats up, the top eight vote recipients in this primary will advance to the general election.
The four district races on the primary ballot are Districts 5, 7, 8, and 9; only the District 7 incumbent, Kim Janey, is running for re-election, and she faces two challengers. The District 5 race features eight candidates running to succeed Tim McCarthy, the District 8 contest to succeed Josh Zakim has five candidates on the ballot, and the District 9 election to replace Mark Ciommo has seven candidates.
The five city council races not on the primary ballot are for Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. District 4 is scheduled to hold a contested general election between incumbent Andrea Campbell and challenger Jeff Durham in November. The incumbents in the other four seats—Lydia Edwards in District 1, Edward Flynn in District 2, Frank Baker in District 3, and Matt O’Malley in District 6—are all running unopposed for re-election.
Boston is the largest city in Massachusetts and the 24th-largest city in the U.S. by population.