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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, December 11, 2023

Ballantyne beats Mbah, Lungo-Koehn wins second term

The polling station held at Cousens Gym is pictured on Nov. 2.


In Somerville's mayoral election, Ward 7 City Councilor Katjana Ballantyne secured 9,997 votes to City Councilor-at-large Will Mbah's 6,726. This created a margin of victory of 18.27 percentage points.

Ballantyne's campaign overcame several obstacles to victory,nearly losing out in the preliminary election. She was able to move on to Tuesday's general election by edging out Mary Cassesso, Cambridge Health Alliance executive and former Somerville city auditor, by just 79 votes.

In that preliminary election, Ballantyne earned fewer votes than Mbah, 4,162 to Mbah's 4,498.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley endorsed Ballantyne for mayor on Oct. 4, following the preliminary elections.

Ballantyne expressed her gratitude for all her supporters in atweet on Tuesday night.

"Thank you #Somerville. I am humbled to be the next Mayor of Somerville. Somerville voters showed they want bold, inclusive experienced leadership to move us forward! Now let's get to work!" the tweet read.

Kristen Strezo, Willie Burnley, Charlotte Kelly and Jake Wilson won the city councilor at-large election. Matthew McLaughlin, JT Scott, Ben Ewen-Campen, Jesse Clingan, Beatriz Gómez Mouakad, Lance Davis and Judy Pineda Neufeld won the city councilor seats for each of the seven wards and Emily Ackman, Ilana Krepchin, Sarah Phillips, Andre Green, Laura Pitone, Ellenor Barish and Sara Dion won election to the school committee in each ward. Several candidates were uncontested.


In Medford's mayoral election, Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn secured 7,352 to John Falco's 5,768, winning her reelection campaign. This created a margin of victory of 11.94 percentage points.

Like Ballantyne, Lungo-Koehn also overcame several electoral obstacles, though Lungo-Koehn's centered around the placing ofMichael Durham, Medford's director of veterans services, on administrative leave after an incident between Durham and the mayor.

That incident led to Durham's escort out of City Hall by Medford police officers, though Durham would be reinstated on Oct. 15.

Lungo-Koehn also faced accusations of creating a hostile work environment at Medford City Hall.

However, Lungo-Koehn expressed excitement for the future following her re-election victory.

"We have laid out a clear set of priorities for the coming term, including continuing to lead Medford out of the pandemic, supporting our teachers and students and advancing a vision for a new high school ... and more," Lungo-Koehn said in a statement on Tuesday night.

In other municipal elections, Zac Bears, Richard Caraviello, Adam Knight, Nicole Morell, George Scarpelli, Kit Collins and Justin Tseng won election to the Medford City Council; Jenny Graham, Kathleen Kreatz, Melanie McLaughlin, Mea Quinn Mustone, Paul Ruseau and Sharon Hays won election to the school committee.