Wu, despite allegations, says she voted for Arroyo

Complains women pols are often viewed as ‘emotional revenge machines’

BOSTON MAYOR Michelle Wu said on Tuesday that she voted for Ricardo Arroyo for Suffolk County district attorney after withdrawing her political endorsement of him when a woman stepped forward alleging he had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

US Rep. Ayanna Pressley also voted for Arroyo even though she withdrew her endorsement of him, but she cast her vote early before the most serious allegations against Arroyo emerged. Wu cast her vote on primary day.

Speaking on GBH radio, Wu said the race for district attorney was turned upside down by the sexual assault allegations and she decided to withdraw her endorsement on September 1, six days before the primary. Many other prominent politicians also withdrew their support.

“The allegations by someone who was a minor at the time are deeply troubling to me, as is newly reported information on anonymous threats she received in the past,” Wu said in a statement at the time. “For the District Attorney to advance reforms our communities deserve, the office must have our communities’ trust and confidence. I can no longer make a public recommendation for a candidate for this office.”

Wu added: ‘This statement should not be taken as a tacit endorsement to vote for Kevin Hayden for District Attorney. I continue to have serious concerns about Mr. Hayden’s judgment in prosecuting cases, his handling of media scrutiny of pending cases, and his conduct in office.”

Wu on Tuesday said she went ahead and voted for Arroyo on primary day. She indicated the documents that surfaced the weekend before the primary swayed her thinking. Those police records indicated no crime had been committed and one report said the charges against Arroyo were unfounded.

“Ultimately, I still came down having seen at least some resolution of where part of the allegations stood and, when the documents finally came out two to three days before the election, for me it was about positions,” she said. “But, again, the primary election season is over and we’re on to November.”

Asked whether she doubted the allegations of the woman, Wu chose not to answer. “I don’t want to get into all the details of files and documents,” she said.

Wu said she will work closely with Hayden, who defeated Arroyo in the Democratic primary and faces no Republican challenger in the final. She also said she will work closely with Andrea Campbell if Campbell is elected attorney general even though the mayor endorsed Campbell’s opponent, labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, in the primary.

Wu said primaries are about choices and indicated her support for Liss-Riordan for attorney general stemmed from the candidate’s experience in the legal field.

“I have an agenda for Boston that is the one that community members helped develop with me and we ran and earned a mandate to move forward on,” she said. “We have too little time to move slowly on major issues and so when I look at races, and especially those who will be in important posts at other levels of government, it is about how does this fit into moving an agenda as quickly as possible.”

Wu dismissed speculation that she backed Liss-Riordan to get even with Campbell for not endorsing her in the final Boston mayoral election. The mayor suggested the political analysis of her motives would not be happening if she was a man.

“Women leaders especially are often perceived or described as emotional revenge machines or something like that when we are able to make effective decisions based on important distinctions and policy choices and shared agendas and goals,” she said.