Name recognition, it seems, played a factor in the September 17 primary races for city council seats, as incumbents in almost every ward and at-large seat posted victories.
Though the General Election on November 5 is the one that counts, last Tuesday’s preliminary election was able to give candidates a sense of how successful they’ve been so far in their campaigns, although with a small size of voters as only a little over 16 percent of the city’s nearly 51,000 voters turned out for the primary.
In virtually every race where an incumbent was running, the incumbent won the race; that includes the school committee and at-large races, where incumbents largely scored definitive victories over their challengers.
The exception to this rule was in Ward One where incumbent Wayne Lozzi, beat challenger Debra Plunkett by just 210 votes, given the light turnout it would seem that Lozzi and Plunkett are still vying for the most contested seat in the city.
In Ward 5, where there was no incumbent running, Diana Chakoutis beat the combined vote total of both her challengers, but will likely have to wait until the end of this week to find out who she will be facing on the November ballot.
While Chakoutis earned 50.4 percent of the vote in Ward 5 with 376 votes, fellow political newcomers Seth Albaum and Jake Keo were separated by just 5 votes. Keo earned 187 votes to Albaum’s 182.
As of Friday, Albaum had pulled papers to request a recount in the race. If he successfully filed those papers by the close of business on Monday, September 23 (yesterday) a recount will be held, most likely before the end of this week.
The final ballot for the November election cannot be certified and sent to the printers until the candidates in the Ward 5 race have been determined.
Brendan Crighton, who was the incumbent Ward 5 City Councilor, but chose to run at-large after moving out of the Ward 5 district, also did for his first time running citywide. Crighton finished in the fourth position of voting on the City Council at-large ballot, sending a message that his tenure on the Council has been noticed.
The rest of the seats for ward and at-large councilor and school committee were as follows. Candidates have been listed here in the order of highest vote, rather than by their position on the Primary ballot.
G. Buzzy Barton had 3,681 votes, Daniel Cahil had 3,614 votes, Hong L. Net had 3,210 votes and Crighton garnered 2,643. Below those four, Robert Clay Walsh with 2,487 votes, Paul T. Crowley with 2,353 votes, Miguel Funex with 1,3165 votes and Aikaterini Koudanis with 835 votes. All eight candidates will be on the November ballot for At-Large Councilor.
Ward 1 Councilor
Wayne Lozzi earned 1,427 votes to Debra A. Plunkett’s 1,217 votes. Both candidates will be on the November ballot.
Ward 2 Councilor
William R. Trahant Jr. pulled 925 votes to Jesse C. Jaeger’s 339 votes. Both candidates will be on the November ballot.
Ward 3 Councilor
Darren P. Cyr earned 607 votes to M. Ronald Mendes’ 350 votes. Both candidates will be on the November ballot.
Ward 4 Councilor
Richard C. Collucci had 410 votes to A. Murrell-Rosario’s 259 votes. Both candidates will be on the November ballot.
Ward 6 Councilor
Peter L Capano ran unopposed and earned 350 of a possible 353 votes.
Ward 7 Councilor
Richard J. Ford ran unopposed and earned 848 of 876 possible votes.
The School Committee race was much closer in many respects, with six of nine candidates each earning more than 3,000 votes. The top five vote getters will win election in November.
Donna M. Coppola was the top voter getter on the School Committee ballot, earning 3,546 votes. She was followed by John E. Ford Jr. with 3,365 votes, Charlie Gallo with 3,343 votes, Patricia M. Capano with 3,245 votes and Richard B. Starbard with 3,210 votes to round out the top 5 spots. The other candidates with their vote totals in parenthesis were: Maria O. Carrasco (3,031), Lorraine Gately (2,725), Melissa L. Romaniello (959) and Stanley H. Wotring Jr. (780).