Results 2019: Contested Mayoral Races In 6 Western Mass. Cities
Updated at 1:25 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2019
Election results are in for the six western Massachusetts cities with a mayoral contest this year.
City Council President John Vieau defeated high school administrator Joe Morissette by nearly 1,400 votes — 56.9% to 42.7% — according to the city clerk’s office. Trunout was 27% of registered voters. Mayor Richard Kos announced earlier this year he wouldn’t seek another two-year term, having served two stints. A second former mayor, Michael Bissonnette, didn’t make it onto the ballot after the preliminary election results.
With a 186-vote margin of victory, Roxann Wedegartner will become the next mayor. A veteran of Greenfield government, Wedegartner had 37.7%, with City Councilor Sheila Gilmour at 34.3%. City Councilor Brickett Allis, who didn’t make it onto the ballot after finishing third in the preliminary, had waged a write-in campaign. He took 28% of votes.
Mayor Bill Martin said last year he would not seek re-election amid controversy over a personnel decision.
There were also two ballot questions on whether and how to build a new library, and whether and how to declare local police would not work with federal immigration officials.
Incumbent Mayor Tom Bernard easily won a second two-year term, defeating vocational school committee member Rachel Branch — 1,819 votes to 404, according to final results released Wednesday. That’s a margin for roughly 64 percentage points. Branch also ran for mayor in 2017.
Bernard, in a phone interview, called the results validating: "I take it as a sign that the work that we've done over the past two years — me, my team, working with the council — is moving the city in the right direction."
Incumbent Mayor Linda Tyer, finishing her first four-year term, beat City Councilor Melissa Mazzeo in what emerged as the most expensive municipal race in the region. Tyer won support from 51.7% of voters to Mazzeo's 47.2%. Turnout was 42.4% of registered voters, according to unofficial results from the city clerk's office. Crime was a major issue during the campaigns. In September’s preliminary election, Tyer lost to Mazzeo by about 5 percentage points.
Winning a fifth term, incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno defeated community organizer Yolanda Cancel with 76.5% of the vote to her 23.2%. Sarno earlier dominated the September preliminary election, winning more than 76%, in a four-way race, to Cancel’s 15%. Sarno refused to debate Cancel during their campaigns, saying he was too focused on governing and dealing with a "family health situation."
"I love this job. I live it 24/7," Sarno said from home, where he was celebrating his win. "We've had a lot of accomplishments, but I'm humbled and honored and I — first — I'm very just deeply grateful to the voters of Springfield."
Republican State Senator Don Humason received 97 more votes than police Captain Michael McCabe. Final turnout in the tight race was just over 40% of registered voters, according to the city clerk’s office. Humason delayed a declaration of victory until the results could be finalized. Incumbent Mayor Brian Sullivan chose not to seek re-election.
Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle and Agawam's William Sapelli also won re-election, not having faced any opponents. Overall, 12 cities and towns in western Massachusetts held local elections.
Heather Brandon, Karen Brown, Nancy Cohen, Adam Frenier and Sam Hudzik contributed.
Correction: An earlier version of the audio posted to this story incorrectly stated that roughly 5,000 total votes were cast in the Westfield mayoral race. The correct number is about 10,000.