Lara secures endorsement from JP Progressives

Local News

The influential group chose to stick by Councilor Lara despite concerns arising from a crash she was involved in this summer.

Boston City Councilor Kendra Lara talks with supporters before campaigning in Jamaica Plain. Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe

Councilor Kendra Lara, a few days before facing off against two challengers in the District 6 race, said she had secured the endorsement of the influential Jamaica Plain Progressives group. 

Lara is running against IT director William King and labor attorney Benjamin Weber for a spot on City Council. Boston’s preliminary municipal election is set for Tuesday. 

Members of JP Progressives voted to officially endorse Lara after the group’s steering committee recommended that they do so last week, despite concerns revolving around the crash Lara was involved in earlier this summer and the charges she faces because of it. 

“JPP has been a pillar of progressive politics in our district, and I am humbled to have their support,” Lara said in a social media post

Lara has been under scrutiny since June 30, when she crashed a friend’s car into a Jamaica Plain home. She told police that she swerved to avoid hitting another car that was pulling away from the curb, but could not stop before ramming into the house on Centre Street. Lara’s 7-year-old son, who was in the car, required stitches afterwards. 

She faces charges including negligent operation of a motor vehicle, assault and battery on a child with injury, operating a motor vehicle after suspension, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. She pleaded not guilty, and her lawyer is arguing that the charges should be dismissed. 

At the time, police said Lara was driving at least 53 mph in a 25 mph zone. At a press conference last week, Lara disputed those allegations. She commissioned The Crash Lab, an accident reconstructionist company, to review the incident. It determined that she was only driving 27 mph. 

Prosecutors said Lara was driving an uninsured car, but Lara disputed that allegation and said last week that the car was insured. She spoke with the homeowner to apologize and give the necessary information for an insurance claim. 

“Am I imperfect? Yes, but I’m also fit for office, and I think I’m the best choice for this district,” Lara told The Boston Globe over the weekend. “My hope is that my worst moment is not overshadowing the two years’ of work that I’ve done.”

In its recommendation to members, the JP Progressives steering committee addressed concerns about Lara’s crash. Ultimately they determined that Lara still deserves support and that she would still be the best choice to advance progressive policies on City Council. 

“We are choosing to trust that further details will be sympathetic to the councilor’s situation. We are choosing to trust in the regret she has expressed and that she will correct her mistakes with humility and hard work,” the steering committee said. 

Election Information

Polls will be open on Tuesday, Sept. 12, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters can find their polling locations using the state’s website. To find out which district they reside in, Boston residents can use this map from the city.

Residents will be able to vote for candidates running to represent Districts 3, 5, 6, and 7 on Boston City Council. The preliminary election will narrow down the number of candidates in each race before the general municipal election on Nov. 7. 

In each district race, voters will have to decide on two candidates to square off in the general election. Districts 1, 2, 4, 8, 9, and the at-large City Council race did not garner enough qualified candidates to trigger preliminary elections. 

An overview of every candidate and more election information can be found here.