Walsh tops 11 others in Boston mayoral preliminary


BOSTON (AP) — State Rep. Martin Walsh and Boston City Councilor John Connolly will square off in the November election to succeed longtime Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Unofficial returns from voting in Tuesday's preliminary election showed Walsh and Connolly leading ten other candidates.

Menino, who took office in 1993, opted against seeking a sixth term after battling a series of health problems and hospitalizations in recent years.

The 46-year-old Walsh has attracted strong labor backing for his campaign. The Dorchester resident worked as a union laborer before being elected to the Massachusetts House in 1997.

Connolly, a 40-year-old father of three, has made education the central focus of his campaign. He was the only candidate to declare his intention to run for mayor before the popular Menino announced he was retiring.