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Gabriela ‘Gigi’ Coletta wins Lydia Edwards’ old Boston City Council seat

Gigi Coletta won a seat on the Boston City Council.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Gabriela “Gigi” Coletta won a special election for the Boston City Council Tuesday, taking over the District 1 seat representing East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End from her former boss, Lydia Edwards.

Coletta, 29, served as Edwards’s former chief of staff and most recently worked as the external relations manager for the New England Aquarium. She ran against Tania Del Rio, former director for the Boston mayor’s office of women’s advancement and executive director of the YWCA Cambridge.

“I am excited, and I’m humbled by the amount of support we received across the city in all three neighborhoods,” Coletta said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.


She said she most looked forward to starting work on four issues: affordable housing opportunities; making sure Boston Public Schools students have access to high-quality educations; coastal resiliency and environmental justice; and constituent services, the nuts and bolts of city government.”

“We spoke to thousands of residents across the district about the issues that matter most to them and what they would like the city council to prioritize,” she said.

Edwards left the council for the state Senate, running unopposed in January after winning a primary for the seat the month prior.

Turnout in the special election was low, with just 4,923 ballots cast, representing a 10.14 percent turnout of the district’s registered voters. About 57 percent of the votes went to Coletta, and 33 percent to Del Rio.

About 10 percent of the votes were written in. Though the city has not yet released a breakdown of write-in votes, North End restaurateur Jorge Mendoza had told the Boston Herald he was launching a last-minute write-in campaign, prompted by the city’s handling of outdoor dining regulations in the neighborhood.

In a statement Tuesday night, Del Rio conceded and congratulated Coletta.

“I’m so proud of the campaign that we ran,” Del Rio said. “I had the opportunity to talk to many of the residents in the neighborhoods of District 1 about the issues that matter most to them, like education, housing, the environment — and I learned a lot along the way. I will continue to fight for the issues that matter to our residents of Boston and advocate for the good of our wonderful District.”


Daniel McDonald of the Globe Staff contributed reporting.

Gal Tziperman Lotan is a former Globe staff member.