Cahill Tops Ballot In School Committee Preliminary; O’Donnell Out Of Race

By SCOTT JACKSON

Making her first bid for elected office, Tina Cahill topped the field in Tuesday’s School Committee preliminary election.

The preliminary race featured seven candidates, the top six of whom advanced to the final election on Nov. 2. The three candidates with the most votes in November will win four-year terms on the committee.

Cahill, a Grenwold Road resident, garnered 2,330 votes en route to her first-place finish. Incumbent committee member Emily Lebo of Highland Avenue was second with 2,216 votes. Courtney Perdios, a Ruggles Street resident who in February was appointed to an open seat on the committee, finished third with 1,984 votes.

Placing fourth in the preliminary was political newcomer Liberty Schaaf of Howe Street, who netted 1,915 votes. Incumbent Douglas Gutro of Arnold Street came in fifth with 1,777 votes, and first-time candidate Liz Speakman of Merrymount Road finished in sixth place with 1,351 votes.

Finishing in seventh place, and eliminated from the race, was first-time candidate Ellen Patterson O’Donnell of Hatherly Road with 857 votes.

Cahill was the top vote getter in three of the city’s six wards, topping the ballot in Ward 5, where she resides, as well as Wards 4 and 6. Cahill finished second in Wards 2 and 3 and third in Ward 1.

Lebo was the top vote getter in Ward 3, her home ward. She finished second in Wards 1, 4, 5 and 6 and fourth in Ward 2.

Perdios topped the ballot in Ward 2, her home ward, and came in third in both Wards 3 and 6.

Schaaf was the top vote getter in Ward 1, her home district. She finished third in the voting in Ward 4.

Gutro was the third-highest vote getter in Ward 2, where he resides, and Ward 5, which he formerly represented on the City Council.

Speakman and O’Donnell polled sixth and seventh, respectively, in all six wards.

Turnout in the preliminary election was 8.11 percent, with 5,169 of the city’s 63,755 registered voters casting ballots. Ward 1 had the highest turnout in the city at 12.84 percent, followed by Ward 5 (9.44 percent), Ward 6 (8.47 percent), Ward 3 (7.57 percent), Ward 2 (6.03 percent) and Ward 4 (4.51 percent).

The Nov. 2 election will also feature four contested City Council races. All city councillors are elected to two-year terms.

Four candidates are running for the three at-large spots. All three incumbents – Noel DiBona of Chickatabot Road, Nina Liang of Grand View Avenue, and Anne Mahoney of 12 Ferriter Street – are seeking reelection. Joining them on the ballot is William Burke of Rice Road, who ran unsuccessfully for state representative in 2018 and had run for Congress two years prior.

There will also be races for three of the six ward seats on the council.

In Ward 1, incumbent David McCarthy of Whitney Road will face off against Joseph Murphy of Macy Street. McCarthy, who formerly served on the School Committee, is seeking his third term on the council. This will be the third time McCarthy and Murphy have run against each other.

In Ward 2, incumbent Anthony Andronico of Endicott Street and Steven Perdios of Ruggles Street both qualified for the ballot. Andronico, who had been serving on the School Committee, was appointed to the Ward 2 seat in January following the resignation of longtime councillor Brad Croall. (Courtney and Steven Perdios are married, and this is believed to be the first time a wife and husband have both appeared on the ballot together in the city’s history.)

In Ward 5, incumbent Charles Phelan Jr. Fenno Street is opposed by Stephen Christo of Standish Avenue. The two ran against each other for an open seat in 2019.

The remaining incumbent councillors – Ward 3 Councillor Ian Cain of Forbes Hill Road, Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci of Cross Street and Ward 6 Councillor William Harris of Ashworth Road – are running unopposed.

There is no mayoral election in Quincy this year. Mayor Thomas Koch was reelected to a four-year term in 2019.

The deadline to register to vote ahead of the final election is 8 p.m. on Oct. 13. The deadline to request to vote by mail in the final election is Oct. 27 and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is noon on Nov. 1.

Early voting will take place ahead Election Day from Oct. 25 through Oct. 29 at City Hall, 1305 Hancock St. Early voting will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on those dates.

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