All eyes were on Massachusetts’ largest city after Boston voters cast their ballots in the historic mayoral race between Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George. Essaibi George conceded around 10:20 p.m. and Michelle Wu declared victoryaround 10:45 p.m.
But voters across the Commonwealth also headed to the polls to decide mayors and city council races in numerous cities and towns. Here are some of those results.
“I want to offer a great big congratulations to Michelle Wu,” she told her supporters from Fairmont Copley Plaza. “I know this is no small feat. You know this is no small feat. I want her to show this city how mothers get it done.”
Shortly after Essaibi George's speech, Michelle Wu took the stage at her election night headquarters in the South End.
“From every corner of our city, Boston has spoken," she said. "We are ready to meet this moment. We are ready to become a Boston for everyone." [Read more]
In the races for Boston City Council seats, Ruthzee Louijeune and Erin Murphy won the tight race for at-large councilors along with incumbents Michael Flaherty and Julia Mejia.
As for the district seats, Kendra Hicks beat Mary Tamer in the sixth district; Tania Fernandes Anderson defeated Roy Owens for the District 7 seat; Brian Worrell beat Evandro Carvalho for the District 4 seat; and incumbent Frank Baker defeated Stephen McBride in District 3. [Read more]
Yvonne Spicer will be a one-term mayor, as Spicer conceded to former Selectman Charlie Sisitsky. Spicer was Massachusetts’ first popularly elected Black female mayor and was also the city’s first mayor, elected in 2018 when Framingham transitioned away from a government with town meeting members, selectmen and town manager. She was previously the vice president of advocacy and educational partnerships at Boston’s Museum of Science.
"I am deeply disappointed, but you know, I also know I've laid the foundation for a great city, and I've raised the bar in a way that has never been raised for Framingham," Spicer told GBH News. "It certainly is a very historic moment to be elected the first mayor of the city. It has also been the most challenging thing that anyone could ever imagine trying to navigate a city through a pandemic, racial upheaval and transitioning from a town to a city. So all, all of those things are arduous."
She also credited the hard work from her campaign team. "We left it all out on the floor. We didn't hold back. We did everything we could," she said. "And really, the three and a half years, it has been an uphill battle."
In the preliminary, challenger Sisitsky more than doubled Spicer’s vote count. Massachusetts Majority, a SuperPAC affiliated with Gov. Charlie Baker, financially supported Sisitsky's campaign in the run-up to November. Sisitsky has criticized Spicer’s handling of COVID, the city’s schools and her willingness to collaborate with the City Council.
Spicer had contended that since she was elected, there has been a concerted effort to undermine her authority, and that race played a role in the campaign. Spicer noted to GBH News in October that 91% of people who hold public office in Framingham are white. The city’s population is just 54% white.
Incumbent Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. narrowly defeated challenger Fred Capone, a city councilor who has been in city government for almost two decades. DeMaria will serve a sixth term.
DeMaria netted 51.2% of the vote to Capone’s 48.3%, leading by just 210 votes, according to unofficial results.
DeMaria compared himself to a Boston legend, former Mayor Tom Menino, in an interview with GBH News ahead of the preliminary election. “A lot of residents who’ve moved from Boston call me mini-Menino,” he said. “You know, ’cause Tom was that type of mayor. He was the urban mechanic, right? On the street, every day, talking to residents.”
The preliminary intersected with the national reckoning over race. Gerly Adrien, the first Black woman on the city council, didn’t advance to the general election.
Somerville will have its first new mayor for the first time in nearly two decades. Among the two progressive candidates, City Councilor Katjana Ballantyne emerged victorious over City Councilor Will Mbah to replace Joseph Curtatone after his 18-year tenure. Unofficial results indicated Ballantyne took roughly 55% of the vote.
Mbah conceded soon after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
“While I had hoped for a different result, the people of Somerville have spoken and I respect their decision,” Mbah said in a statement. “I want to congratulate Councilor Katjana Ballantyne on her victory and on the honor of being selected to represent the great city of Somerville. … I look forward to remaining involved and organizing in this community that has given me so much and continuing to fight for bold progressive policies. Onward.”
Mbah, a native of Cameroon, would have become the first person of color to lead Somerville. Ballantyne was endorsed by Ayanna Pressley.
Lawrence’s interim Mayor Kendrys Vasquez was defeated by Brian DePeña, a two-term former at-large city councilor who took nearly 53% of the vote to Vazquez’s 46%, per unofficial results. Vasquez took up the post in January, bumped up from his job as City Council president, when former Mayor Dan Rivera stepped down after seven years to lead state agency MassDevelopment.
Vasquez was endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the Boston Globe in the weeks leading up to the November election. He led in September’s preliminary election, with over 40% of the vote.
Wilnelia Rivera, the founder of Rivera Consulting and former chief strategist for Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley's campaign, as well as a Lawrence native, called it an “intergenerational” race. She told GBH’s Greater Boston: “It’s a community that has really gone through a lot of changes in the last 10 years. This mayoral election is really a test of the young generation that stayed and chose to build their city.”
She said that Vasquez focused his campaign on making big changes and has brought people into politics who aren’t usually involved. “For a lot of young generations of Lawrence-ians that are there, he’s really done an amazing job at criss-crossing the city in a way that really makes the city look like what it should be, which is that it is a multiracial community,” Rivera said.
Three-term School Committee member Jared Nicholson will be Lynn’s next mayor. Nicholson received 63% of the vote to rival Darren Cyr’s 36%, per unofficial city results.
Outgoing Mayor Thomas McGee, who took office in 2018, chose not to run for a second term and endorsed Nicholson.
Nicholson led in the preliminary election with 39% of the vote, trailed by Cyr, who has been on Lynn’s City Council for 16 years and served as its president for the past four years.
Former School Committee member and City Councilor Greg Verga will replace Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken in January. Verga took 59% of the vote to Romeo Theken’s 41%, per unofficial results from the city.
The preliminary election in September foreshadowed tonight’s outcome, when Verga won in a landslide — nearly 3,178 votes to Romeo Theken’s 1,831.
Scandal shrouded the incumbent when an investigator found that Romeo Theken had violated city rules and standards of conduct, “directing profanities and angry outbursts at subordinates.” The city’s public health director also accused Romeo Theken of trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine for herself and others before she was eligible. She has held the post since 2015.
Verga entered the race in late June, though he’d been planning to run for City Council, but told MassLive that he heard from Gloucester residents that they were “ready for a change.”
Thank you, Gloucester, for believing in me and sending me to City Hall. Thank you, Mayor Sefatia, for your commitment to the City. Let’s all move Gloucester forward, together.— Greg Verga for Mayor (@voteforverga) November 3, 2021
SalemKim Driscoll will get her fifth term as Salem's mayor. She advanced with 60.5% of the preliminary vote in September.
Opponent Steve Dibble, a city ward councilor and former city planner, conceded the race Tuesday night, telling supporters, “I have congratulated Kim Driscoll on her win for another term as mayor of Salem. I want to thank all my supporters! While, we came up short, I am proud of the hard work, sacrifices and principles we set forth. Salem is a better place for it.”
This post has been updated to clarify that Lawrence’s future mayor, Brian DePeña, is a former city councilor not a current city councilor. He served two two-year terms, elected in 2015 and again in 2017.