Charles Yancey, who served on the City Council for 32 years, lost his District 4 seat in 2015 to a young attorney named Andrea Campbell. Yancey is now stepping back into the political ring as Campbell runs for mayor.
On Thursday, he announced his support for one of Campbell’s five rivals, Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who is running for a full four-year term.
“I'm voting for Mayor Janey because she identifies with the people of Boston and understands the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all who have struggled against the odds,” Yancey said in a statement released by the Janey campaign. “Mayor Janey is doing the job, and the City of Boston is in good hands with her. She has already demonstrated that she has the temperament, intelligence, sincerity, authenticity and competence to lead our city. Let's keep Mayor Janey working for us.”
Janey, in her own statement, said Yancey’s decades on the City Council “representing Mattapan and Dorchester were marked by a passionate commitment to making the everyday lives of the residents of District 4 better.”
They were also marked by frequent clashes with the late Mayor Thomas Menino and some of his City Council colleagues.
In 2013, when Menino was asked on the radio which of the 12 candidates running to succeed him was least like him, the mayor responded without hesitation: “Charles Yancey.” That year, Yancey ran for both his City Council seat and the mayor’s office. District 4 voters returned him to his Council seat while a citywide tally showed he came in tenth place in the mayoral preliminary.
Two years later, Campbell would knock Yancey out of the District 4 seat, topping a preliminary election and winning the November final election. The final vote was 62 percent for Campbell to 38 percent for Yancey.
Campbell announced her mayoral bid in September 2020.
This year’s preliminary on Sept. 14 will feature Janey and Campbell, as well as City Councillors At-Large Annissa Essaibi George and Michelle Wu, and former economic development chief John Barros.