Mayors rule the day in Massachusetts. A first glance at election results show that the incumbent mayors in Springfield, Fall River, Brockton, Waltham, Fitchburg, Amesbury, Beverly, Medford, Quincy, Agawam, Chicopee, and Easthampton. One interesting upset: 22-year-old Republican Alex Morse defeated the incumbent in Holyoke.
It’s hard to beat an incumbent mayor because they tend to be far less ideologically driven than the good souls who currently reside in Congress. Mayors are well-known and are “fixers.” They are the ones who keep the trains running on time, who fix potholes, and, as James Michael Curley declared about himself in his 1945 reelection effort: they “get things done.”
One Mayor not on the ballot but who is nevertheless having a great morning: Tom Menino. Michael Flaherty lost his race to return to the council and won’t regain the perch from which he was most likely going to challenge the Mayor for Life. But the most interesting result from yesterday’s municipal elections was not, however, mayoral incumbent retention but, rather, the changing face of Boston. Ayanna Pressley topped the field in the at-large council race in Boston, a race that had been predicted to knock her off the council just a couple of weeks ago. Already an impressive figure, Pressley put together an impressive organization to come out ahead in a very competitive race. I imagine we will see her name mentioned quite a bit in the near future as a candidate for higher office.
Menino lost a significant challenger but may have gained some complex uncertainty. Not enough to deny him another successful reelection but just enough to continue to make city politics interesting.