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Municipal election day in Massachusetts features several mayoral contests

An individual wearing an 'I voted' sticker.
Daniel Morrison
Creative Commons / flickr.com/danielmorrison
An individual wearing an 'I voted' sticker.

Low voter turnout is forecast across Massachusetts for 55 municipal elections in the state. One reason for the lower turnout is that local elections are usually held separately from national and state elections, which have better known candidates. Local campaigns also have less money.

There are contested mayoral races in six western Massachusetts communities, including three where incumbent mayors are not running for another term.

In Holyoke, City Councilor Michael Sullivan faces Joshua Garcia, who works as the town administrator in Blandford. In September's preliminary, Sullivan finished about 300 votes ahead of Garcia in a seven-way race.

After nearly a decade in office, Alex Morse resigned as Hoyoke's mayor earlier this year to become the town manager of Provincetown on Cape Cod. City Councilor Terry Murphy has served as acting mayor for most of that time.

In Northampton, City Council President Gina-Louise Sciarra and transportation analyst Marc Warner are on the ballot. Sciarra had 60% of the vote in a four-candidate preliminary and has held a large fundraising advantage over her rival. Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz opted not to run for another term.

The mayoral election in North Adams will be a historic one. The second-largest community in Berkshire County will elect a woman as mayor for the first time. Planning board member Lynette Bond was less than 200 votes ahead of her opponent, former city treasurer Jennifer Macksey, when voters narrowed the field in September. The pair finished well ahead of two other rivals.

And Another Thing speaks to both Macksey and Bond about the significance of a woman becoming the city’s next mayor.

There are also three western Mssachusetts mayors facing challengers onTuesday.

In Westfield, incumbent Don Humason is being challenged by retired police captain Michael McCabe. It's a rematch of two years ago, when Humason beat McCabe by just 90 votes to win what was then an open seat. It was a solid showing in 2019 for McCabe, a political newcomer at the time, against Humason, who spent more than 15 years in the Massachusetts Legislature. 

Agawam's mayor, Bill Sapelli, is seeking a third two-year term. Charles Alvanos, who runs a financial planning business, is looking to unseat him. Like in Westfield, there was no preliminary in Agawam.

In Easthampton, incumbent Nicole LaChapelle, who has been mayor since 2018, is looking for a four-year term. She has two rivals: brewery owner Eric Berzins and resident Keith Routhier. Neither challenger has reported raising any money this campaign season. 

This post includes reporting from NEPM's Adam Frenier.

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