Local politicians were quick to react to the news Thursday that Boston Mayor Walsh had been picked by President-elect Joe Biden to lead the U.S. Department of Labor.
Walsh, 53, has yet to release a statement, but he has been rumored to be in the running for the labor post for months. Following reports that the mayor had been selected, Biden confirmed the nomination Thursday evening.
"My friend Mayor @Marty_Walsh is a champion for America's labor unions and a fierce fighter for working families," Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter. "I am delighted that President-elect Biden has chosen Marty as our next @USDOL Secretary to make our government work for working people."
"Fantastic news," added Democratic U.S. Sen. Ed Markey. "As a union leader, @marty_walsh will bring the commitment to workers and working families that is desperately needed right now. His tremendous leadership in Boston on climate action, health care, and social justice make him ready on day 1."
“I am thrilled to hear that Mayor Marty Walsh has been chosen for our new Labor Secretary," Democratic Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said. "Throughout his career he has been a champion for worker’s rights and I am confident that he will succeed in this new position in the Biden Administration. I look forward to working closely with him in his new role.”
"Few leaders are better poised to undo the tremendous damage Donald Trump has brought to working families and American labor than @marty_walsh," outgoing Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy III tweeted. "Congrats my friend!"
Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, who is running for mayor, congratulated Walsh for being the first union member to serve as Labor Secretary in nearly 50 years.
"There is much work to do to clean up the backwards, anti-worker policies of the Trump administration that have hurt so many here in the city," she said, "and Boston needs a partner to fight for working families at the federal level."
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Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, also a mayoral candidate, also congratulated Walsh, saying the Labor Secretary is a "fitting role" for someone who has spent his career fighting for working people.
"The realities of deep division in our country and city have never been more clear than they have this year -- amidst a pandemic and yesterday’s domestic attack on our democracy," she said. "For Boston, there’s so much at stake in 2021 as we look to recover from this pandemic and reimagine what our city can be without persistent inequities. I know Mayor Walsh will be a partner in that work in this new role."
Asked about the reports of Walsh's pending departure earlier Thursday, Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he has had "a really positive, collaborative working relationship" with the mayor over the past six years.
"On many, many issues our ability to work together has made a big difference for the city and its surrounding environs, and I consider him somebody I can be pretty straight with on anything we talk about," the governor said. "If he does take this job, obviously we'll wish him well and do everything we can to make sure that in the midst of this difficult time that we transition effectively and quickly and collaboratively to whomever his successor would be."