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Regional News

McCabe Concedes To Humason In Westfield Mayor's Race

Michael McCabe, right, concedes the mayoral election to Don Humason, left, at Humason's district office in Westfield.
Karen Brown
/
NEPR
Michael McCabe, right, concedes the mayoral election to Don Humason, left, at Humason's district office in Westfield, Mass..

The Westfield, Massachusetts, mayor’s race appears to be over.

Michael McCabe, a Westfield police captain, conceded the election to state senator Don Humason, after coming in 90 votes behind.

The two candidates appeared together Friday morning at Humason’s district office, where they congratulated each other on a civil and well-run campaign.

“You ran a terrific race,” McCabe said to his once-rival. “You’re a formidable opponent and I wish you all the best in your mayoral… career.”

“I thought it was one of the best races that Westfield has seen in a long time, as is evidenced by the outcome, how close it was,” Humason said, “and especially for a candidate who runs his first race. You did a great job.”

About 10,000 people cast ballots — or 40% of eligible voters.

Westfield City Clerk Karen Fanion said the tally of 4,998 for Humason and 4,908 for McCabe is near final, with only three votes still in question before she officially certifies the count.

“It’s the closest [mayor’s] race I’ve ever seen,” Fanion said.

McCabe admitted he was surprised to have done as well as he did, as a political novice.

“To be within 90 [votes] of Don Humason is pretty good,” he said, adding that he still would have preferred to win.

After election night, McCabe had gone back and forth about requesting a recount, given the thin margin. But since he thinks a recount would not flip enough votes to change the outcome, he decided against it.

“I don't think that Don's administration should start [with a recount],” he said. “And I don't think that the city should bear the extra cost of having to go through that process.”

Humason said his early focus will be on taxes and infrastructure in Westfield.

When asked whether McCabe might play a role in Humason’s administration, both men said they were open to the possibility.

Humason said he'll work on the transition to the mayor’s office, which is only five miles from his house.

“I've always joked that I'd rather spend three hours in meetings here in Westfield than three hours stuck in my truck on the turnpike,” said Humason.

McCabe said his 34-year tenure at the police department is “running short” and he’s considering several other career options in the public and private sectors.

Humason's term as mayor will begin January 6.

Special election for state Senate

A special election to fill the Senate seat can't be scheduled until Humason files a letter of resignation.

Humason said he first wants to discuss his official date of departure with Beacon Hill leaders.

"I intend to speak with the Senate president and the minority leader of the Senate probably in the next week or two," he said. "We're going to sit down – as a formality and a courtesy – and we'll come up with a time at that point."

Once the letter has been filed, Secretary of State Bill Galvin's office said the Senate can vote to call a special election on a date of their choosing. 

"Certainly the presidential primary, which is being held on March 3 of 2020, should be in play here as a possible date," Galvin said, "because of the large number of people that are coming out to vote anyways [and] the economy that that would present to cities and towns."

The Senate district includes Westfield, Holyoke, Easthampton, Southampton, Montgomery, Russell, Tolland, Granville, Southwick, Agawam and parts of Chicopee.

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