By Adam Swift
A mix of new and familiar faces triumphed in the races for City Council and School Committee during Tuesday’s municipal election.
There was light turnout throughout the city, as about 1,550 of the city’s nearly 17,000 registered voters cast ballots.
In the five-candidate race for three seats for City Councilor-at-Large, Council President Leo Robinson and current School Committee members Kelly Garcia and Roberto Jimenez-Rivera came out on top.
Garcia, the School Committee Chair, topped the ballot in her first run for council with 749 votes, followed by Robinson with 706 and Jimenez-Rivera with 606. Olivia Anne Walsh and Yamir Rodriguez finished out of the running.
Two current District City Councilors who faced challenges won their races.
In District 2, Melinda Vega defeated Constantinos Boussios 124-84.
Due to redistricting, current District 7 Councilor Tanairi Garcia is now in District 4. Even with the change in district designation, Garcia was victorious, defeating Licensing Board Chair Marnie MacAlpine 131-65.
District 1 Councilor Todd Taylor, District 3 Councilor Norieliz DeJesus, District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero, and District 8 Councilor Calvin Brown were all unopposed and won reelection.
In District 7, Manuel Tesche was unopposed in his first run for council, and in District 5, Lisa Anne Santagate ran unopposed for the council seat currently held by State Representative Judith Garcia.
Sisters Kelly and Tanairi Garcia, Vega, and DeJesus ran as a slate for City Council they call El Pulso.
“El Pulso, The Pulse, made history last night as all members of our women-led slate won,” read a statement signed by all four candidates. “We are eager to work alongside our brothers and sisters in service on the Chelsea City Council. We want to express a heartfelt gratitude to all of our volunteers who supported us day in and day out throughout the campaign.
“Lastly but certainly not least, we want to thank our constituents, ‘el pueblo,’ our community members that believed in us every step of the way and voted for us,” the candidates continued. “We look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with our neighbors, families and friends of all districts throughout the city of Chelsea and to continue working together as a united front to address our district needs and priorities.”
The closest race of the day was for the District 3 School Committee seat, where Jonathan Gomez-Pereira defeated Naomi Zabot 106-100.
There was also a close race for School Committee in District where Mayra Balderas finished ahead of Zaida Ismatul Oliva 94-83.
The only other contested School Committee race was in District 7, where Lucia Henriquez defeated Loren Sokol.
School Committee candidates who won unopposed races included Katherine Cabral, Ana Hernandez, Claryangeliz Covas Carballo, Yessenia Alfaro, Sarah Neville, and Shawn O’Regan.