John Barros joins Boston’s mayoral race


The committee to elect John Barros

In his campaign launch video, Boston’s former chief of economic development John Barros said that he will prioritize community needs if he is elected mayor.

Kelly Garrity, news staff

On Thursday, Boston’s former chief of economic development John Barros launched his campaign for Boston mayor. He is joining city councilors Michelle Wu, Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George and state Rep. Jon Santiago in what has become a crowded race to replace Mayor Marty Walsh as he prepares to head to Washington as President Biden’s labor secretary.

“The challenge of Boston is how we harness all of our city’s strengths and opportunities, create the partnerships and relationships and make sure they work to lift everyone up. That’s the work I’ve dedicated my life to,” said Barros in his campaign launch video. “I’m running for mayor of the city of Boston because I’m ready to meet this moment and take us further.”

Barros, the son of Cape Verdean immigrants, was born and raised in Roxbury and currently resides in Dorchester. He made his announcement outside the Dorchester-based, Cape Verdean Restaurante Cesaria, which he owns and operates.

The announcement comes after Barros stepped down from his post as Walsh’s economic development chief Feb. 26 after seven years in the position. Prior to joining Walsh’s team, Barros was the executive director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative — a community group aimed at helping Dudley residents gain control over development in their neighborhood — and served on the Boston School Committee.

Barros previously ran for mayor in 2013, finishing sixth out of 12 candidates in the primary that ended up pitting Walsh against then City Councilor At-Large John Connolly.