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Michelle Wu voting for Bill Linehan over Matt O’Malley as City Council President

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the Banner’s senior editor. VIEW BIO

While most Bostonians are gearing up for the holiday season, city councilors have been gearing up for their own holiday season tradition — wrangling votes for the City Council presidency.

The vote takes place the first week of January, but this year, the horse-trading over who’s voting for whom appears to be over with South Boston Councilor Bill Linehan claiming he has the seven votes needed to gavel challengers Tito Jackson of Roxbury and Matt O’Malley of Jamaica Plain into submission.

The surprise swing vote came from councilor-elect Michelle Wu, who ran courting progressive voters and appears to have angered many with her backing of Linehan, one of the more conservative voices on the council.

After angry reactions from groups including JP Progressives, Wu issued a 400-word explanation Wednesday for her decision to support Linehan, arguing he was the best person for the job.

Last year during the council’s redistricting process, Linehan caught flack from voting rights activists for attempting to remove districts with large percentages of people of color from District 2, which he represents.

“Over the last year, there has been a lot of talk about a ‘New Boston’ and an ‘Old Boston,’ but I reject the notion that Boston is a City hopelessly divided by neighborhood, income level or political outlook,” Wu writes. “A central theme of my campaign was inclusion, and the only way we can move the whole city forward is by working together – even if that means reaching beyond the confines of what’s easy or comfortable.”