City Councilor Annissa Essaibi George took a shot at her opponent while greeting residents at Mike’s Diner in Boston's South End Wednesday, the morning after she declared victory in Boston's mayoral preliminary election.
“I think many of her plans, unfortunately, are unrealistic," Essaibi George said of fellow City Councilor Michelle Wu.
Wu, who had been leading in recent polls, easily won Tuesday's preliminary balloting. Essaibi George was locked in a tight race for the second spot with acting mayor Kim Janey and City Councilor Andrea Campbell, but ultimately came out on top.
The Associated Press did not call a winners as of early Wednesday because only a small amount of the vote had been reported as results slowly trickled in.
Essaibi George claimed victory alongside Wu as one of the top two vote-getters during her speech Tuesday night, though she did caution there were still votes that needed to be counted.
"I would’ve liked those results to come in a bit earlier but we’ll do a bit of a post-mortem to see how we do this better for the November election," Essaibi George said Wednesday.
Janey and Campbell conceded defeat late Tuesday night. All four are candidates of color, as is John Barros, Boston's former economic development chief and the only man in contention. Barros trailed well behind the four women.
State elections officials explained that the delay in results had to do at least in part with ballot drop boxes, one of the ways voters were encouraged to return their ballots this year.
The race ushers in a new era for Boston, a city that has elected an unbroken string of white men to be mayor in its first 200 years.
"It’s pretty exciting, I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet," Essaibi George said of being one of two female candidates. "To have this success indicates that things have changed, but there’s also a lot of work to do."
On a narrative that has emerged painting the two candidates as progressive vs. moderate, Essaibi George said Wednesday, "It’s lazy to simply label me as a moderate, as a centrist."
If elected, she will not govern in a bubble, she said Tuesday night. "Boston needs a leader that recognizes the value and importance of inclusivity and perspective, experience, neighborhood and community."
"It’s about meeting with Bostonians and understand the work they want me to do," she said Wednesday of moving forward with her campaign.
Essaibi George praised the other members of the historic field of candidates Tuesday night, particularly Janey, who became the first Black Bostonian and first woman to occupy the city's top office after Mayor Marty Walsh stepped down earlier this year to become President Joe Biden's labor secretary.
"She has shattered a glass ceiling that was left intact for far too long," she said.
About Annissa Essaibi George
The daughter of immigrants — her father Ezzeddine immigrated to the U.S. from Tunisia in 1972 and her mother Barbara was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after World War II — Annissa Essaibi George grew up in Dorchester and was elected to the Boston City Council in 2015.
Essaibi George, 47, graduated from Boston Technical High School, and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Boston University and a Masters degree of Education from University of Massachusetts Boston.
Starting in 2001, Essaibi George taught Economics, Business Management and Health & Human Services to juniors and seniors at East Boston High School. She also served as the assistant softball coach.
Essaibi George is also the founder and owner of Stitch House in Dorchester -- a brick and mortar retail shop that sells yarn and fabrics. It also offers classes in knitting, sewing, quilting and crochet -- all hobbies Essaibi George has enjoyed since childhood.
She and her husband, Dorchester-native Doug George, have four boys together: Douglas, and triplets, Charlie, Kayden and Samir.