Joe Mathieu: You're listening to WGBH's Morning Edition. I'm Joe Mathieu, on this preliminary election day in Boston, and eight other towns and cities across the state. We're joined on the line right now by the incumbent in the city of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. Happy election day to you.

Marty Walsh: Good morning everyone. I hope everyone has a beautiful day today.

Joe Mathieu: Well, is it going to be beautiful for you, Mayor? How are you planning to spend this election day?

Marty Walsh: I love election day, it's like the Super Bowl for me. You know, whether I'm on the ballot, or I'm supporting someone. You do all the work, and you see how the team does today. I feel confident that we have a really good group of people, volunteers, helping us today. So I feel confident. I'm not going to be cocky about it, but I am confident.

Joe Mathieu: You have three challengers, including City Councilor Tito Jackson who has been very outspoken in this campaign. Why should the people of Boston vote for you?

Marty Walsh: I think if people look back and see what we've accomplished over the last four years, you know, we've set a record of building affordable housing in the city of Boston. We've set a record for building workforce housing in the city of Boston.

In the last four years we've had a AAA bond rating, very fiscally sound city that we have moving forward. We've also worked on the opioid crisis. We have a 24-hour number now.

We've housed 1,100 chronically homeless people, and we've looked at master planning the future of the city in areas like transportation, arts and culture, economic development. So we're working in different areas, and our schools have gotten better.

Joe Mathieu: It's interesting you mention schools because we have heard a lot about that from your primary challenger, Councilor Jackson. He has criticized you for funding schools in certain neighborhoods and has framed this as a debate over inequality in the city. How do you react to that?

Marty Walsh: It's just not true. We haven't we haven't funded any schools differently. We have made record investments in our schools in my three years as mayor. We have also laid out a plan for a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements. We've added 25 percent new seats in our prekindergarten program. We've extended the school day in all of our schools in the city of Boston, something that, when I ran for mayor, we were criticized for having the shortest school day. We've extended that day. We have programs in our schools, excellence for all, working on closing the achievement gap, and really making sure that our schools are the number one in the nation. So we're moving forward there.

Joe Mathieu: We're talking with Mayor Marty Walsh on this preliminary election day in Boston on WGBH's Morning Edition. Mr. Mayor, if you get another four years, what would you like to do with them?

Marty Walsh: I think the three areas that a lot of Bostonians are looking at is: will they be able to afford to live in the city of Boston, and how do we create more opportunities for housing? We've set records for housing when it comes to low-income and moderate income housing. We have to create more housing. I think that people are concerned about where will they work—is there a job out there for them? And I think we have to work in making sure that we create jobs for all educational levels of folks, so that they can earn a living and raise a family. And the third area is education, continuing to strengthen our educational system. I think if we can give our kids a strong start in life, and get them prepared for college or a career, we change the whole dynamics of our city for generations to come.

Joe Mathieu: Lastly, Mayor, how do you plan to spend the day, and where are you going to be tonight?

Marty Walsh: I'm going to be all over the city of Boston today campaigning, visiting people, talking to people, I'm going to vote this morning. I do have a meeting in City Hall today so I do have to go to work a little bit, and then tonight I'll be at IBEW Hall in Dorchester.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.