Voters in 58 communities across Massachusetts went to the polls Tuesday to elect new municipal leaders — empowering some first-time winners, ensuring another term for many incumbents, and dashing some political aspirations, at least for now.
The vote included closely watched elections such as the mayoral race in Fall River, where front-runner Paul Coogan cruised to victory over incumbent Jasiel Correia, who was on the ballot despite having suspended his campaign in the face of federal fraud and extortion charges.
Coogan received 10,653 votes, Correia garnered 1,002, and write-in candidates received 1,756, according to unofficial results.
The big upset among local races appeared to be in Medford, where city councilor and local attorney Breanna Lungo-Koehn unseated incumbent Mayor Stephanie M. Burke by fewer than 700 votes — 6,912 to 6,260, according to unofficial results.
Burke had said her tenure brought accomplishments such as the current construction of a new police headquarters, the pending building of a library, and the revitalization of Chevallier Theatre. Lungo-Koehn said that in response to “the overdevelopment of luxury apartments,” she wanted Medford to plan instead for “purposeful development.”
In addition to contested mayoral contests in other cities such as Brockton, Melrose, Revere, Somerville, and Taunton, communities picked councilors and school committee members, and voted on local ballot initiatives.
In Brockton, City Council President Robert F. Sullivan defeated Jimmy L. Pereira in the election to lead the City of Champions, where Bill Carpenter, the former mayor, died suddenly in July. Sullivan received 9,794 votes, while Pereira picked up 6,864, according to unofficial results.
Taunton’s first female mayor will be state Representative Shaunna O’Connell, a Republican who defeated City Councilor Estele Borges, a Democrat, by a margin of 6,206 to 3,644 on Tuesday. In her campaign, O’Connell touted her blue-collar upbringing and experience on Beacon Hill since she defeated incumbent representative James H. Fagan in 2010.
The Melrose race marked the city’s first for an open mayoral seat since Robert J. Dolan was first elected in 2001. In that contest, Democratic state Representative Paul Brodeur defeated Councilor at Large Monica Medeiros by a 6,074 to 4,038 margin, according to unofficial results. That result follows a tight preliminary election, where Brodeur outpaced Medeiros by just 179 votes.
A supporter of last April’s successful $5.2 million tax override for the schools, Brodeur said during his campaign that he would work to ensure the funds are used efficiently and transparently. Medeiros, who would have been Melrose’s first popularly elected female mayor, said she would develop a five-year financial plan and provide more “community engagement” in decision-making.
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville defeated first-time candidate Marianne Walles, a social worker, union leader, and a native of the community by a margin of 8,052 to 5,348, according to unofficial results. Walles’s campaign has highlighted her work with families and her focus on jobs, public schools, transportation, and other issues affecting voters’ daily lives. Curtatone, a fellow Somerville native who has led the city since 2004, has touted his achievements in office, such as police reform and improved city services.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno of Springfield handily defeated his challenger, community activist Yolanda Cancel. Cancel has said she was inspired to run after her son was shot outside a convenience store in May, when he encouraged her to continue her efforts to make Springfield safer. Sarno, a four-term incumbent, won the preliminary election by more than a four-to-one margin over Cancel.
On Tuesday, he garnered 11,848 votes compared to Cancel’s 3,587, according to unofficial results. He has pledged to build on his work in public safety, job creation, and economic development.
Waltham’s veteran mayor, Jeannette A. McCarthy, batted away a challenge from City Councilor-at-Large Diane P. LeBlanc, a retired federal government executive who said she would institute “true citywide planning” to better control development and address quality of life issues.
McCarthy, in office since 2004, won 7,758 votes, more than doubling LeBlanc’s 3,791.
In Worcester, incumbent Mayor Joseph M. Petty bested three challengers: Bill Coleman, Donna M. Colorio, and Owurakwaku Sarkodieh. Sarkodieh was a first-time candidate, Colorio has served on the city’s School Committee, and Coleman has sought local office several times in the past.
In Revere, four years after Brian Arrigo unseated Daniel Rizzo as mayor, the two went head-to-head again. Arrigo, the incumbent, won Tuesday’s rematch by a margin of less than 600 votes. He tallied 5,809 votes, while Rizzo, a city councilor, tallied 5,251, according to unofficial results.
During the campaign, Rizzo pledged to “listen to the people” and focused on quality of life issues. Arrigo highlighted the progress he said the city has seen in the last four years, from efforts to professionalize city government to initiating the process of building a new high school.
In Cambridge, nine candidates were elected to the City Council from a field of 22: Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Patricia M. Nolan, Alanna M. Mallon, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Marc C. McGovern, Quinton Y. Zondervan, Dennis J. Carlone, and Timothy J. Toomey. All the winning candidates were incumbents, except Nolan and Sobrinho-Wheeler. McGovern is Cambridge’s current mayor. The council will elect one of its own to fill that position for the next term.