By Cary Shuman
State Sen. Tom McGee was elected mayor of Lynn Tuesday night, defeating Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy with a strong showing at the polls across the city.
McGee, who has represented Lynn as a state senator and a state representative, received 9,442 votes (64.41 percent) while Kennedy received 5,174 votes (35.31 percent).
McGee conducted an outstanding campaign to defeat Kennedy, who had served with distinction for eight years and had compiled an impressive list of accomplishments. Kennedy had defeated an incumbent mayor (Edward Clancy Jr.] herself eight years ago and then was re-elected with a victory over a popular city councillor [Timothy Phelan].
The McGee family’s legacy of public service, the senator’s excellent record on Beacon Hill, his high visibility at local events, and a well-organized and energetic campaign committee proved to be the recipe to earn a tremendous vote from Lynn residents citywide.
McGee celebrated his victory with his family, his campaign committee, and his many supporters at Trio’s Mexican Grill on Market Street.
Accompanied to the stage by his wife, Maria, and their children, Thomas and Katherine, McGee told the gathering that he was carrying “a watch that my father, [the late Thomas McGee, former Speaker of the Mass. House], gave to my mother in 1952.”
McGee said his parents inspired him “to be who I am and be the kind of person that understands that for us to be a better community or a better country, we need to work together to try to make a difference together. That’s why I ran to become mayor of the City of Lynn.”
McGee said as he campaigned around the city, he learned that, “We all call ourselves Lynners. We come from Lynn and we live here because we want to be here and we understand that it’s a great community. I know that working together that we can make this community a community that we all will continue to believe in.”
McGee thanked his many supporters amidst cheers throughout the room, saying that, “We can be better together.”
The mayor-elect said he received a congratulatory phone call from Kennedy earlier in the evening.
“I want to thank her for her years of service to the city of Lynn,” said McGee. “She assured me that we’’ll have a smooth transition so we can continue to do the things that we all understand will make this city a better place.”
McGee said he was very excited about the opportunity to be the mayor of Lynn.
“I know we can make this city the best city in the Commonwealth,” said McGee, who thanked his campaign manager, Michael Cole, and other members of the campaign committee.
Donald Castle, a precinct captain for the McGee campaign, said the city was looking for change.
“I think people are ready for change,” said Castle. “People want real leadership and transparency. Tom McGee is ready to lead this city. I think he’s going to be an open and transparent mayor who’s going to be there everyday, including in the neighborhoods.”
Thomas McGee, a student at UMass/Amherst, said he was very proud of his father’s election as the city’s chief executive.
“It’s awesome,” said Thomas. “I was just expecting to have a great night watching him. I’m so proud of him for what he’s done, but with the result that we had tonight, it was just so awesome to see.”
Why was his father able to garner such an overwhelming vote?
“He’s a great guy,” said Thomas. “He’s a done a lot of work for the last 20-plus years for Lynn. He loves Lynn. He’s grown up here his whole life, and he just loves this city, and everyone knew he was the right person for the job.”
Asked how it feels to have his mother as the First Lady of Lynn and his family as the First Family, Thomas responded, “It’s pretty crazy. It has really sunken in it.”
First Daughter Katherine McGee said she flew in from Villanova University to be here for the election.
“I’m so proud of my dad and all the people that helped him. Thomas and I came home from school for the election. We just wanted to be here to support him. We could not be more proud of him,” she said.