Walsh and Jackson bested a pair of lesser known mayoral candidates, retired police officer Robert Cappucci and Joseph Wiley, a health care worker, in Tuesday's nonpartisan preliminary election which generated lukewarm voter interest.

The top two vote-getters — Walsh and Jackson — advance to the Nov. 7 final election.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts, voters in Framingham were going to the polls for the first time since residents of New England's largest town opted to become a city. Voters will narrow from seven down to two the field of candidates seeking to become Framingham's first mayor.

In Lawrence, five candidates including former Mayor William Lantigua are challenging incumbent Mayor Daniel Rivera, with two advancing to November.