Tito Jackson Will Run for Mayor

Marty Walsh's first challenger steps forward.

Photo via Mayor's Office/Jeremiah Robinson

Photo via Mayor’s Office/Jeremiah Robinson

Tito Jackson has announced he will challenge Marty Walsh for mayor, following months of mounting speculation.

The District 7 councillor emailed supporters Wednesday night announcing his campaign kickoff at the Haley House Bakery Cafe in Roxbury, coinciding with the launch of a new website and a series of biographical videos.

An incumbent mayor of Boston has not lost reelection since 1949, when John Hynes unseated James Michael Curley, fresh out of jail for mail fraud. Jackson, a lifelong Grove Hall resident and University of New Hampshire alum, was first elected to the City Council in the 2011 special election to fill the seat vacated by Chuck Turner.

Jackson has been a vocal critic of Walsh throughout the mayor’s first term. Jackson tried to subpoena Boston 2024 to obtain documents that organizers of the ill-fated Olympics bid, which Walsh supported, long refused to make public. (The possibly outgoing Bill Linehan quashed the subpoena.)

A member of the City Council’s Committee on Education, Jackson invited students participating in the second Boston Public Schools walkout over budget cuts to attend his committee meeting at City Hall. Walsh was critical of the walkouts, doubting that the demonstrations were organized by students and not outside agitators.

Jackson, along with City Council President Michelle Wu, also supported the ballot question that legalized recreational marijuana in November, which Walsh, along with Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey, strongly opposed.

Candidates can pick up nomination papers May 2. Jackson, and whoever else plans to challenge Walsh, must collect 3,000 signatures by May 23 to appear on the ballot.