Ella Fitzgerald and Beyonce’ have earned the accolades of millions of fans who admire and enjoy the talents of both top singers and entertainers. Though they are two Black women in the same industry, each is known for her distinctive performance style. Short of being tone deaf, nobody would confuse one for the other.

Boston City Councilor and mayoral candidate Andrea Campbell is clear that she and acting Mayor Kim Janey, both Black women mayoral candidates, can’t be exchanged, either.

Campbell is pushing back against separate nascent efforts advocating for just one Black candidate. In an April 30, statement Campbell was emphatic, saying, “Black women candidates for public office are not interchangeable. Like everyone else, we all have our own story and unique leadership styles that inform our candidacies and our policymaking.”

Campbell’s statement was a specific response to an exploratory email by Boston developer Richard Taylor, sent to Campbell’s supporters, suggesting that there was a potential win/win/win involving Campbell/acting Mayor Janey and Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins. Rollins, who is also Black, is widely believed to be the top candidate for U.S. attorney for Massachusetts. The well-connected Taylor urged Campbell’s supporters to consider a scenario in which Rollins got the U.S. attorney job, Campbell stepped into the DA’s post and Janey turned her acting mayor job into mayor — Black political power in Boston solidified in one fell swoop.

In his email message, Taylor pointed out, “Given that Mayor Janey is doing well thus far and given the recent early poll that placed Andrea surprisingly at the bottom, we need to think about options.”

In her terse public response, Campbell restated her commitment to run for mayor, rejecting Taylor’s proposal, emphasizing, “I would never allow my supporters to push this narrative, and neither should acting Mayor Janey.”

Richard Taylor’s proposed scenario is somewhat similar to another effort led by former State Sen. Diane Wilkerson. Wilkerson is advocating for community support of one strong Black mayoral candidate, which would require other candidates to drop out. There was a similar effort in 2013, when the primary mayoral pool of almost a dozen candidates included five African-Americans — current mayoral candidate John Barros among them — as well as Felix Arroyo, who is Latino. Charlotte Golar-Richie finished as a close third in the primary, disappointing many convinced she could have won if the other Black candidates didn’t split the vote.

Neither Taylor, the former secretary of transportation under Gov. Bill Weld, nor former State Sen. Wilkerson is a political neophyte. What they are proposing is a well-known, successful strategy that other groups have used to break barriers in gaining or solidifying power. Essentially, both are asking, is it worth it to position one African American candidate with the best chance of victory? Of course, that does beg the question about who gets to make that decision and how to convince candidates to go along with what seems doubly offensive — asking some or several of them to forgo their individual ambitions for the perceived greater good and also to accept and support whoever is designated the chosen one.

Should both or either of the coalescing strategies go forward, the process will not be pretty — not just pitting Black candidates against each other but possibly causing friction among other communities of color, almost guaranteed to leave some permanent rifts in the ranks of Black Boston’s political leadership. But it would seem that Boston’s behind the scenes operatives have adopted former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s philosophy of “no political friends or enemies, just interests.”

There is more than a bit of irony that in this unprecedented race, where all six candidates identify as people of color and one of the Black candidates is currently acting mayor, this campaign likely offers the best chance yet to elect a Black mayor. But with a long hoped for political victory seemingly within reach, how it happens may be as important as who achieves the win.