Josh Zakim and Michael Nichols are the remaining combatants in the District 8 City Council race after finishing one-two in the Sept. 24 preliminary election. District 8 covers Mission Hill, along with Back Bay, Beacon Hill and Fenway.
Zakim and Nichols will now go to the Nov. 5 general election for the opportunity to replace the current District 8 city councilor, Mike Ross, who gave up a chance at reelection to run for mayor.
Zakim garnered 45 percent of voters, or 2691 votes, while Nichols took 27 percent. They beat out Mission Hiller Gloria Murray, Tom Dooley and Angelica Addivinola.
“I was very excited about our first-place finish and am very grateful to the voters of District 8,” Zakim said in an email to the Gazette. “Our success on Tuesday speaks to the hard work of our entire campaign team and the resonance of my commitment to social and economic justice for all Bostonians.”
Nichols pointed out that history is on his side.
“We feel really good where we are now,” Nichols said in an email to the Gazette. “We won Mission Hill and we won Fenway. When Mike Ross won this seat 14 years ago, he was in second after the preliminary election.”
Nichols won Mission Hill by garnering 34 percent of voters, or 492 votes. Zakim finished third with 27 percent, trailing Murray’s 33 percent.
Zakim said that he will continue to run a grassroots campaign and is “confident that when voters across the district learn about my experience, my background, my values and my vision for the city, it’s something they will identify with and embrace.”
He said the issues that will decide the election will be improving public education, including in the city’s downtown neighborhoods that lack K-8 schools; creating more affordable and mixed-income housing; and growing the economy.
“My vision for Boston is a city that creates real opportunity and access for every resident in every neighborhood,” said Zakim. “I want to live in a city that embraces these values and remains steadfastly committed to an agenda of social and economic justice, and I think most residents of District 8 feel similarly.”
Nichols said three issues will decide the District 8 race: institutional expansion, affordable housing and the location and quality of public schools in the area.
“I’m the only remaining candidate who believes institutional expansion to be the most significant issue facing Mission Hill,” said Nichols.
He said he understands people who can’t afford housing in the city, as he was born in affordable housing and currently lives in an inclusionary development program affordable housing unit. And on education, Nichols said he has identified specific locations for returning public schools to District 8 and he has a pledge to return a public K-8 school to Mission Hill.
Nichols also pointed out he has received more than 50 endorsements from community and civic leaders in the district, including the Ward 10 Democratic Committee, which covers most of Mission Hill.