Tight battles ahead for mayor in Lawrence, Holyoke

To win in Nov., candidates will need to tap rivals' supporters

THE RACES FOR MAYOR in Lawrence and Holyoke promise to be close, as voters in the two communities on Tuesday narrowed crowded fields to two finalists who will need to attract votes from losing candidates to win in November.

In Lawrence, Kendrys Vasquez, the former City Council president and acting mayor, won 3,704 votes to take first place in the preliminary election. He was followed close behind by Brian DePena, a businessman and former city councilor, who received 3,247 votes.

Vilma Dominguez-Martinez came in third with 1,193 votes, followed by former mayor William Lantigua with 781 and Doris Rodriguez with 99. Dominguez-Martinez, Lawrence’s community development director, was backed by the previous mayor, Dan Rivera, who left to take the top job at Mass Development.

In Holyoke, at-large City Councilor Michael Sullivan and Joshua Garcia, the town manager for Blandford, topped the balloting in a seven-way preliminary to fill the mayor’s seat vacated by Alex Morse, who resigned earlier this year to become town manager in Provincetown.

Sullivan got 1,431 votes and Garcia 1,127 to put them in the final. They will have to woo the next three finishers in the preliminary election, who between them received 13 more votes than the top two vote-getters.  City Councilor Rebecca Lisi received 1,016 votes, Devin Sheehan won 832, and William Glidden got 523.

In North Adams, Jennifer Macksey, the assistant superintendent of operations and finance at the North Berkshire School Union, won the preliminary mayoral election with 55 percent of the vote. Lynette Bond, a member of the North Adams planning board and director for grants and research at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, came in a fairly distant second with 42 percent of the vote. The other two candidates garnered just 3 percent of the vote.

Macksey would appear to be favored in the November final. Either way, a woman will be the mayor of North Adams for the first time in 127 years.

With Mayor Donna Holaday stepping down in Newburyport, three candidates stopped up to vie for the office. Unofficial results indicated City Councilor Charles Tontar will face off against School Committee member Sean Reardon in the November final. Tontar had 2,011 votes and Reardon had 1,188. The third candidate, Warren Russo, had 336 votes.

Incumbents generally fared well on Tuesday. In Everett, Mayor Carlo DeMaria came in first with 2,883 votes and will square off in November against City Councilor Fred Capone, who received 1,953 votes. The third-place finisher was Gerly Adrien with 1,499 votes. Adrien, a Black woman, gained some visibility with clashes with fellow city councilors and DeMaria over race issues, but that visibility did not translate into strength at the polls.

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

In Beverly, incumbent Mayor Michael Cahill received twice as many votes as second-place finisher Esther Ngoko. Incumbent Paul Coogan in Fall River received 3,893 votes, well ahead of the second-place finisher, City Council President Cliff Ponte, with 2,118 votes. Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux trounced runner-up Todd McGhee, who received 811 votes.

Michael Jonas contributed to this report.