With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting, Walsh had 51.2 percent of the vote to 48.5 percent for Connolly, city election officials said. Connolly conceded little more than an hour after polls closed.
The election signals the end of an era. Thomas Menino, Boston's first Italian-American mayor and the first in decades who was not of Irish descent, governed the city for five terms, longer than any other mayor. Menino decided not to run for another term because of health problems, the Boston Globe reported.
Walsh has been in the House of Representatives since 1997 and became known as an advocate for unions, the Globe said. Connolly, who has been on the city council since 2007, said he would be the "education mayor."