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Most local incumbents retain seats

Published: Thursday, November 5, 2009

Updated: Thursday, November 5, 2009 12:11

Voters kept incumbents in office with Tuesday's elections for Somerville aldermen and Medford city councilors who represent portions of Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus. The mayors of both cities also held their seats.

In Boston, incumbent Thomas Menino won an unprecedented fifth term, beating out City Councilor-At-Large Michael Flaherty in Tuesday's mayoral election.

Rebekah Gewirtz was reelected as alderman for Somerville's Ward 6, which covers about half of Tufts' campus. She received 1,081 of the ballots cast while her competitor, James Campano, recieved 344, according to unofficial results.

Tufts also falls under the jurisdiction of Somerville's Ward 7, where Robert Trane went uncontested as alderman.

Joseph Curtatone was reelected as mayor of Somerville after running unopposed.

Five candidates competed for four alderman-at-large positions, with all four incumbents — John Connolly, Bruce Desmond, Dennis Sullivan and William White Jr. — keeping their seats.

The election went off without a hitch but was marked by lower turnout than last year's vote, which also included a presidential election, City of Somerville spokesperson Tom Champion said.

"From a procedural point of the view the elections went very smoothly," Champion said. "There wasn't a huge turnout — respectable, but not huge. That always makes things go more smoothly."

In City Council elections in Medford, incumbents Stephanie Muccini Burke, Paul Camuso, Michael Marks, Fred Dello Russo, Breanna Lungo-Koehn, Robert Maiocco and Robert Penta won.

Michael McGlynn also won reelection in the Medford mayoral poll; he was running unopposed.

Meanwhile, four challengers were voted onto the Medford School Committee, with only two incumbents keeping their seats, the Medford Transcript reported.

Twenty-six percent of registered voters participated.

Across the Charles River, Menino won with about 57 percent of the vote as Flaherty received 42 percent, according to unofficial results.

This is the first time that Menino, who has served as mayor for 16 years, got less than 60 percent of the vote, reflecting that this year's was a more competitive and intense race. The election originally saw a field of four candidates, one of whom was City Councilor-At-Large Sam Yoon, who eventually became Flaherty's running mate.

Slightly more than 31 percent of registered Boston voters cast a total of 111,067 votes, the highest turnout for a mayoral election since 1993.

The election had been cast as a choice between the reliability and proven record of incumbent Menino and the changes and new ideas promised by Flaherty.

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Menino called for a fresh perspective, according to media reports.

"Complacency is the highest hurdle we face. Let us fend off the temptation to rest on past accomplishments or to walk in familiar paths," he said.

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Ben Gittleson contributed reporting to this article.

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