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Incumbents Win in Somerville, Lafuente Takes Ward 4

All incumbents won re-election to the Somerville Board of Aldermen. Tony Lafuente won an empty seat in Ward 4 and will be the only fresh face on the Board.

Incumbents won the day in Tuesday's city election, taking all four at-large seats on the Somerville Board of Aldermen and winning in wards 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.

Somerville's mayor, Joseph Curtatone, was re-elected; he ran unopposed.

Lafuente wins Ward 4

The only fresh face to be elected to the Board of Aldermen Tuesday was , a Somerville business owner who immegrated to the United States when he was a child. Lafuente beat to fill the Ward 4 seat on the Somerville Board of Aldermen, which was becoming vacant because the incumbent alderman, Walter Pero, decided not to seek re-election.

Based on unofficial results, Lafuente beat Christine Barber with 857 votes to 623.

"I feel honored that my neighbors in Ward 4 have put their trust with me," Lafuente said late Tuesday night after learning of his victory. He said he was "delighted" to have won and he looks foward to starting work.

As the only new face on the Board, Lafuente said he is also the first Portuguese immigrant to be elected alderman in Somerville, a community with a strong Portuguese-speaking population.

"For me, this is the American story," he said, describing coming to the United States when he was nine years old and being part of a poor family. Lafuente went on to college and ultimately founded his own business, .

"I'm honored to be a Somervillian. This is my home," he said.

Results in the Ward 4 race were significantly delayed Tuesday night due to an election machine that broke down in Ward 4, Precinct 3. As a result, election workers had to count votes by hand. Polls closed at 8 p.m., and the results of the Ward 4, Precinct 3 vote weren't known until about 11 p.m.

Because of the delay, Somerville election officials did not finish tabulating vote counts citywide until about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday night.

Trane wins Ward 7

Elsewhere in the city, Alderman won re-election in Ward 7, narrowly beating challenger by a margin of 40 votes. Trane walked away with 1068 votes; Ballantyne received 1028 votes, according to unofficial results.

Trane, speaking at in Teele Square ealier Tuesday night, said he let out a "big sigh" when he learned of his victory.

Trane said he serves as "a bridge between the people and the city." When he spoke to his supporters, he said he told them, "My dad, as I grew up, told me ... you may be lucky to have 5 good friends ... tonight, I have hundreds of good friends, and I feel lucky."

In defeat, Ballantyne, who was across the street from PJ Ryan's at said running was a "wonderful experience" and that, with the results so close, she was considering running again in two years. "It's certainly very much in the picture," she said. 

Curtatone came to Trane's celebration to concgratulate the re-elected alderman. "Both campaigns ran a possitive campaig," he said, and, "It was great to see such a great turnout in Ward 7."

"I've worked with Bob [Trane] for a decade ... and he's done a great job," the mayor said.

Taylor wins Ward 3

In Ward 3, Alderman Thomas Taylor, who is in the hospital battling cancer and was not able to campaign, beat challenger handily. Taylor earned 892 votes; Delani got 232, according to unofficial results.

At-large winners: all incumbents

In the at-large race, all four incuments won re-election to the Board of Aldermen.

William White topped the ballot with 4578 votes. Dennis Sullivan came in second with 4560 votes. John Connolly was third with 4487 votes, and Bruce Desmond was fourth with 4068 votes. This is according to unofficial results released by the Somerville Election Department.

Sean Fitzgerlald finished fifth with 3600 votes; Todd Easton finished sixth with 3032 votes, and Michael Nionakis finished seventh with 2182 votes.

In the at-large race, the candidates who finish in the top four win seats on the Board of Aldermen.

Curtatone, unopposed, re-elected as mayor

With no challenger in this year's election, Curtatone received 6913 votes out of a total of 9071 ballots cast, according to unofficial results.

Speaking at Trane's celebration at PJ Ryan's, Curtatone said of running unopposed, "I don't take it for granted" to be re-elected mayor, and he's glad Somerville voters "continue to give me an opportunity."

With no challengers, incumbents win in wards 1, 2, 5 and 6

In four of Somerville's seven wards, incumbent aldermen ran unopposed:

  • In Ward 1, William Roche was re-elected with 733 votes, 86 percent of ballots cast.
  • In Ward 2, Maryann Heuston was re-elected with 593 votes, 77 percent of ballots cast.
  • In Ward 5, Sean O'Donovan was re-elected with 908 votes, 70 percent of ballots cast.
  • In Ward 6, Rebekah Gewirtz was re-elected with 993 votes, 79 percent of ballots cast.

School Committee: No contests

Likewise in the Somerville School Committee elections, none of the sitting School Committee members faced challengers.

Maureen Bastardi, Ward 1; M. Teresa Cardoso, Ward 2; Adam Sweeting, Ward 3; Christine Theberge Rafal, Ward 4; Mark Niedergang, Ward 5, Paul Bockelman, Ward 6; and Mary Jo Rossetti, Ward 7, all won re-election.

21 percent turnout

With 9071 ballots cast out of about 42,790 registered voters, voter turnout in Somerville was about 21 percent.

Elizabeth Martel November 09, 2011 at 01:23 PM
Whiel voter turnout itself is a bit dissappointing, I'm also dissappointted in the laziness of even those who DID turn out to vote. Looking at the sample ballots, its clear the the Alderman-at-Large votes where just the top four on the list, instead of votes for actual candidates. The last three names on the list were Easton, Fitzgerald and Nionakis. Those are also the names of the candidates who did not get elected.
Amanda Kersey November 09, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Was anyone else disappointed with how many registered voters actually voted yesterday?
Jennifer S November 10, 2011 at 10:48 PM
I wouldn't go after the laziness of those who did vote. Tony Lafuente and Christine Barber both came to my house multiple times to ask for my vote. I also received several mail ads from them. I never heard a word from the At Large candidates. Maybe they would have gotten more votes if they had put in more effort. And yes, I am very disappointed in the 79% of registered voters who couldn't be bothered. It took me less than 2 minutes to vote, even with my 2 very young children in tow. What's their excuse?

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