Acting Mayor Kim Janey surprised very few people this week when she announced that she would officially run for Mayor of Boston. The timing of her candidacy — and the potential to oversee Boston’s re-opening and recovery — has echoes of another historic acting mayor for the city: Tom Menino, who went on to serve as mayor for two decades.

However, Janey has one advantage Menino never had, setting up a race like no other, according to Adam Reilly, GBH News political reporter. He joined host Joe Mathieu on Morning Edition today with The Scrum co-host Peter Kadzis, GBH News politics editor, to discuss Janey’s candidacy.

“She is making history in a way that Menino didn’t,” Reilly said. “In this city, for Janey to be able to say ‘I’m the first Black woman leading Boston,’ it’s incredibly powerful. When I talked to the other candidates, my take was, they still don’t know how to respond, how to push back at her as she takes this victory lap for making history.”

Watch: Adam Reilly on Janey's historic candidacy:

The conventional wisdom is, Mathieu noted, that a candidate receives a big boost from incumbency, and Kadzis said that Janey is perfectly situated to take advantage of her position. “Janey has a politician’s dream — she has none of the responsibility for anything that happened before her, no blame, and she gets to take credit for good things moving forward,” Kadzis said. “What’ll be interesting is when — or if — she has to make a tough decision that sort of comes out of left field.”

The election is still six months away, leaving ample time for rivals to chip away at her incumbent advantage. Both Reilly and Kadzis expect an increase in critiques from more progressive candidates, who may paint her as too moderate, and more scrutiny of her close relationship with the Walsh administration.

“I think it’s clear that Janey wants to get a big chunk of Walsh voters, but that leaves her open on the left,” Reilly said, noting that Michelle Wu criticized Janey this week for not doing more on diversifying public contracts. “We are going to see more and more of that as the race goes on.”

With many challenges facing the incoming mayor, from pandemic recovery, to troubled schools, to a housing crisis, it’s hard to predict how the race will unfold. Kadzis said it’s likely too early for most average voters to be paying close attention to the race. “I would urge people to take a look on July 4th where they stand on polls, then sit back and watch the real race begin,” he said.