Preliminary Elections Today

Old fashioned voting booth (image courtesy of islandlaw.com)

A little late to announce this, but there are preliminary elections today in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.

In Springfield three candidates are vying for Mayor. Incumbent Dominic J Sarno is competing against School Committee member Antonette Pepe and City Council President Jose F. Tosado; to be one of the two candidates to be on the ballot in November for a second term. The winner in November’s general election will be the first Mayor elected to a four-year term.

Pepe, 70 has been especially vocal in her criticisms of Sarno, even accusing him of  blackmail. A charge he denies. So, if it becomes a Pepe versus Sarno race at the end of the night, look for the bad blood between the two to make for a combative general election.

Also,  thirteen candidates are facing off (including the for incumbents) for four of the five At Large seats on the Springfield City Council. In what can be said to be the first phase in a game of municipal government musical chairs, the ten who get the most support will be on the ballot in November.

In Holyoke, a similar situation. Incumbent first term Mayor Elaine Pluta is going up against three opponents for one of two spots on the ballot this November. Pluta’s 2009 General election rival, former businessman and Turley newspaper columnist Daniel C Boyle is looking for a rematch, while past primary rival former city council member Daniel Burns and twenty-two year old political newcomer and non-profit founder Alex Morse round out the field.

(In a recent Valley Advocate interview Morse said ‘I live, breath, eat, and sleep Holyoke.” Personally having lived in the ‘Paper City’ and breathed its air, tasting Holyoke would be the last thing I would want to do).

Having driven through Holyoke today, if the number lawn signs are an accurate barometer of  support, it appears Morse has a lot of it , especially in Highlands section.

If Pluta comes out one of the winners tonight, look for reforming the City’s Charter to be an issue. Pluta has opposed Charter reform, while all three of her rivals support it.

There is one race in Ward Seven also being decided today. Gordon Alexander, Alan Fletcher, and Christopher Kulig are running to be the two general election candidates in November.  The seat is currently held by John J O’Neil who is not running for re-election.

Susan Eagan, Holyoke’s City Clerk forecasts that about twenty percent of eligible voters in the city will turn out, while reports indicate it will be even lower in Springfield.  Given that these are local elections that almost always have low turnout, but preliminary elections for upcoming local elections, nobody should expect a big turnout.

Polls close at 8PM. I will update this post when the final numbers come in.

Update:  Election Results Live:

9:37PM- Looks like those are all the big results in the 2011 Preliminary elections.

9:20PM-  WWLP’s website ‘OnPolitix‘ reports they have results in the contest for the Springfield At-Large City Council seats. All four incumbents Thomas Ashe, Tim Rooke, Kateri Walsh, and James Ferrara; all emerged victors in the race to be among the ten that will be on the ballot in November. In fact, Ashe, Rooke, and Walsh were the three withb the most votes. Ferrara came with the fifth highest amount behind candidate Bud Williams. The results are as follows:

    Thomas Ashe: 14% (6,885)

     Tim Rooke:   12%   ( 5,955)

     Kateri Walsh: 12%   ( 5,642)

     Bud Williams:  11%   ( 5,117)

    James Ferrera: 11%   (5,087)

    Justin Hurst:       09%  (4,245)

    Amaad Rivera:    07%  ( 3,179)

    Miguel Soto:       05%     (2,398)

    Charles Rucks:  05%      (2,327)

    Joseph Fountain: 04%   ( 2,111)

    Bruce Adams:        04%    (2,036)

    John Stevens         03%    (1,567)

    David Campi           03%    (1,374)

Ashe, Rooke, Walsh, Williams, Ferrera, Hurst, Rivera, Soto, Rucks, and Fountain will all be candidates in the general election for the seats on the Council.

8:58PM-  WWLP minutes ago projected that all the votes have been counted in the Holyoke Mayoral race. Morse and Pluta have emerged tied.

Morse: 39% (2,023 )

Pluta  39%  (2,022)

Boyle:  16%  ( 806 )

Burns:  06%  (310)

The votes in the Springfield AT-Large City Council seats have also been called. Will give details in a minute.

8:57PM- A few minutes ago it was reported by WWLP that 100% ofv the vote has been counted in the Springfield Mayoral race has been counted. Here are the results:

                                                                                         Sarno: 60% (8,254)

Torsado: 23% ( 3,170)

Pepe: 17%        (2,269).

Masslive.com still hasn’t called it for them, but are reporting that in Holyoke Pluta and Morse have won.

8:50PM- WWLP on tv is projecting that 100% of the vote has been counted in the race for Holyoke City Council’s Ward seven seat. The Results are:

Alexander: 42% ( 533 )

Fletcher: 33% (423)

Kulig : 25%  (325).

Alexander and Fletcher will now compete in the general election on Nov 8.

8:47PM: Numbers in Holyoke frozen. In Springfield it is- Sarno: 6555, Tosado: 2536, Pepe: 1774.

8:46PM- Will have numbers on other races when they end.

8:44PM: In Holyoke, Morse now leads Pluta by a single vote 2023 to 2022. Boyle and Burns remains at 293 ad 75 respectively. Masslive numbers.

8:41PM: Morse now leading Pluta in Holyoke. Its Pluta and Morse in four digits, while Boyle follows with 293 votes, and Burns in a distant fourth.

8:38 PM: The order in Springfield is relatively consistent with Sarno holding a commanding lead over Tosado, while Pepe is in a distant third. In Holyoke it seems to be Pluta and Morse, but remember polls have only been closed for about 40 minutes so things are still fairly fluid.

8:37PM: Think I might want to just check the numbers every five minutes rather then try and document the tabulations as they change by the minute.

8:36PM/ET: I am live blogging based on numbers on Masslive.com.

8:34PM: Springfield- Sarno: 3344, Tosado: 1284, Pepe: 915.

Holyoke- Boyle: 200, Burns: 30, Morse: 2023, Pluta: 2022.

8:30PM-  Springfield: Sarno 2600, Tosado: 1178, and Pepe: 738.

Holyoke: Boyle: 200, Pluta: 2022, Morse 2023, and Burns 30.

8:28PM- They are now all tied up in the Springfield Mayoral race  at 294 each. Numbers haven’t moved in Holyoke.

8:25PM/ET- Early vote counts show the following numbers. In Holyoke: Boyle: 577,Burns: 200, Morse: 41  Pluta: 635. In Springfield: Sarno?, Pepe: 294, Tosado: 924.

8:00PM/ET- Polls have just closed.

7:41PM ET-  In other news ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” the policy that prohibited gays and lesbians from openly serving in the millitary, died today at the age of 18. (1993-2011). America’s finest can now be free to be open about thier personal lives, without having to live in fear for their careers.

7:27 PM ET- Polls closing in a little more than thirty minutes. Will be monitoring tv and local news so you don’t have to.

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