Last week on Nov. 2, 2021, it was my favorite day of the year, Election Day! Here are some particularly consequential races from near Wheaton College. These numbers are mostly based on hand-calculated/preliminary/unofficial election results, so some numbers may be slightly off, though which candidates won or lost is certainly correct. For full transparency, I actively supported the campaign of Dave McNeil, and supported his slate as a whole, including holding signs for them on election day.
- The City of Attleboro had 30,728 registered voters this year and had 6,844 actual voters, meaning there was a turnout of 22.27%. In the race for Mayor, Incumbent Paul Heroux received 4,493 votes (65.65%). Heroux defeated challenger and retired State Trooper Todd McGhee, who received 2,351 votes (34.35%). This begins Heroux’s third and final term as Attleboro Mayor, as he has stated in the past that he will not seek re-election past three terms.
- The town of Braintree had 27,709 registered voters this year and had 5,308 actual voters, meaning there was a turnout of 19.16%. In the race for School Committee, current Chair Lisa Fiske-Heger with 2,718 votes, former Teacher Matthew Lynch with 2,319 votes and former Teacher Kathleen Tuffy with 2,220 votes were elected. They defeated 4 oher candidates for the position. According to Jimmy Bentley of patch.com, Lynch resigned from his teaching job in February after a photo of him attending the Jan. 6 Insurrection surfaced on social media. Sarah Kennedy ‘21, a Braintree resident, notes that Lynch’s election is likely a result of Braintree residents being “still divided” over the past removal of the Braintree sports team mascot, which was a Native American man in headdress, and was removed last August. Lynch’s campaign slogan reflects this, which was “make Braintree Wamps again.”
- The town of Franklin had 24,848 registered voters this year and had 5,195 actual voters, meaning there was a turnout of 20.91%. In the race for School Committee, a slate of seven ideologically aligned candidates, supported by an active Democratic Town Committee, cruised to victory. Members of this slate are Denise Spencer, who garnered 3,623 votes, Elsie Stokes with 3,614 votes, Camille Bernstein with 3,045 votes, Al Charles with 2,989 votes, David Callaghan with 2,963 votes, Meghan Whitmore with 2,876 votes and Dave McNeil with 2,795 votes. They defeated four other candidates for the position, all of whom ran on primarily anti-Critical Race Theory platforms.
- The city of Framingham had 39,492 registered voters this year and had 12,192 actual voters, meaning there was a turnout of 30.87%. In the race for Mayor, Incumbent Yvonne Spicer received 3,909 votes (32.06%) and was upended by Selectman Charlie Sistsky, who received 8,283 votes (67.94%). Spicer previously made history by being the first Black woman to be elected as mayor in Massachusetts. The majority of the Framingham political establishment supported Sistsky’s campaign, including State Representatives Jack Lewis and Maria Robinson, as well as the Framingham School Committee Chair, Adam Freudberg.
- Boston had 432,097 registered voters this year and had 143,547 actual voters, meaning there was a turnout of 33.22%. In the race for Mayor, Michelle Wu received 91,239 votes (63.56%) and defeated Anissa Essaibi-George, who received just 50,879 votes (35.44%). Wu claims the role of first woman and first person of color to be mayor of Boston. This race was a highly-publicized election, and Wu ran on a progressive platform that involved tackling climate change, equity, and making the MBTA train service free.