By Leah Dearborn
It was a big week for state Sen. Thomas McGee, who captured over 70 percent of the votes for mayor in Tuesday’s preliminary election.
Incumbent Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy received 27.81 percent of the 5,869 total votes cast in the mayoral race, which saw relatively low turnout. Of the 52,418 registered voters in the city, a slim 11.5 percent headed to the polls for the preliminary election.
“I look forward to getting back to work tomorrow morning and to continuing the discussion about how to best move the city forward,” said McGee, speaking from Tony’s Pub & Grill after the polls closed and the votes were tallied.
Campaign manager Michael Cole thanked all the volunteers who worked on the trail, and said that there is still much to do before the general election in November.
McGee announced his bid against Kennedy for a four-year term as mayor back in March. Prior to his election to the Senate in 2002, McGee represented West Lynn and Nahant during his four terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Kennedy was first elected to the office of mayor in 2009 after defeating Edward J. Clancy, Jr. She was re-elected to a second term in 2013.
In the Councillor-at-Large race, Brain LaPierre won the highest share of the votes at 17.70 percent, followed by G. Buzzy Barton and Hong Net, who won 15.65 and 14.06 percent, respectively.
In the competitive race for Ward 2 Councillor, small business owner Richard Starbard finished first with 48.21 percent of the 1,170 votes. He will be campaigning against Gina M. O’Toole, who won 31.37 percent of the vote, in November.
Incumbent Donna Coppola topped the vote for the seven School Committee seats at 18.05 percent, with Lorraine Gately coming in second and John Ford, Jr. in third.
Gately said part of her focus, if elected to the committee, will be on increased Chapter 70 funding, the improvement of afterschool programs and the hiring of a special education administrator.