Congratulations to Mayor-elect Thomas M. McGee for his resounding win in Tuesday’s final municipal election. But more importantly, congratulations to McGee and Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy for running election campaigns throughout the summer and fall that focused on issues and ideas for improving the city.
It has been eight years since Lynn voters decided they needed to make a change in their city’s chief executive in order to make their city an even better place to live in. McGee and Kennedy took up the challenge of stating their respective opinions eloquently and intelligently in six debates where the candidates avoided rancor or distractions.
Today marks the start of a new and different campaign — the one dedicated to combining McGee’s and Kennedy’s talents to ensure a smooth leadership transition in the mayor’s office and to get an early jump on addressing some of the problems highlighted during mayoral debates.
The slightly fewer than one out of three Lynn voters who went to the polls clearly stated their preference for mayor and selected Councilors at large Brian LaPierre, Buzzy Barton and Hong Net to serve another term on the council. They added former Ward 7 council candidate Brian Field to the council with a vote tally that saw Field outpace fellow contenders by 500 or more votes.
The three veteran councilors at large and newcomers Field and Ward 2 Councilor-elect Rick Starbard have a mandate to forge a working relationship with the mayor-elect to help set a course of success for the city.
The voters put a similar mandate in place for the School Committee by mixing a core of reelected veterans — Donna Coppola, John Ford, Lorraine Gately and Jared Nicholson with two bright young newcomers — Brian Castellanos and Michael Satterwhite. The addition of two minority residents onto the committee shows that voters clearly want to hear voices reflecting and representing Lynn’s diverse spectrum of public school students.
Lynn voters were treated on Tuesday to a strong candidate field that included a woman running for Ward 2 councilor and four women seeking School Committee seats in addition to Coppola and Gately.
Minority candidates sought elected office in the at-large and ward council races as well as School Committee with candidates Jaime Figueroa, Marven Hyppolite, and Satterwhite and Castellanos running smart, passionate and engaged campaigns. Tuesday night ended with candidates in the loss column but their return to politics in the future will be welcome.
In Lynn’s neighboring communities, voters favored returning incumbents to office and set a tone underscoring a desire for experience and consistency while giving newcomers a chance to bring their ideas to life while learning from the incumbents they will serve with.