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Michelle Wu and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at a rally in front of the Boston Public Library on Oct. 23. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Progressive Michelle Wu defeated Annissa Essaibi-George to win Boston's race for mayor on Tuesday, becoming the first woman and Asian American elected to the office in Boston's nearly 200-year history.

Why it matters: The majority of Boston's residents today are people of color and they are flexing their political muscles as they are in other parts of the country.

  • The victory of Wu, who is also the first person of color elected to the post, is seen as a dramatic turnaround for a city that nearly 50 years ago experienced violent racial unrest over busing, Axios' Russell Contreras notes.

Of note: Kim Janey became the first woman and person of color to lead the city earlier this year when she was named acting mayor after Marty Walsh resigned from the post to serve as President Biden's Labor secretary.

Catch-up fast: Wu, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, became the frontrunner after September's preliminary election.

Driving the news: The face-off between the two women of color drew attention as the historic nature of the race became clear.

  • Boston has been signaling the change from an Irish American-Italian American political machine stronghold for some time. In 2019, Boston elected the most diverse council in city history and the first with a majority of women.

The big picture: Wu will join a small but growing contingent of Asian American and Pacific Islander elected officials.

Go deeper

How Atlanta's next mayor wants to stop Buckxit

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Over the next three newsletters we’re asking Andre Dickens and Felicia Moore how they’d address big issues other than crime if elected. (You can read about their crime platforms here.)

First up: Buckhead cityhood.

Why it matters: Buckhead’s exit from the city proper would blast a $100 million hole in City Hall’s budget (not to mention the schools), weaken the metro region’s ability to compete for jobs, and further divide, opponents (and the reports they’ve commissioned) say.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.