By SCOTT JACKSON
Incumbent School Committee members Emily Lebo and Douglas Gutro were reelected to the School Committee in Quincy’s municipal election on Tuesday, and first-time candidate Tina Cahill will join them on the committee in January after winning a seat.
Lebo topped the six-person field in the School Committee race, finishing with 5,128 votes. Cahill was second with 4,807 votes and Gutro finished third with 4,439 votes.
Coming in fourth place was incumbent Courtney Perdios, who had been appointed to the committee in February, with 4,388 votes, 51 fewer than Gutro. First-time candidates Liberty Schaaf and Liz Speakman finished fifth and sixth, with 3,802 and 3,330 votes respectively.
Lebo, a former Quincy Public Schools administrator, has served ten years on the committee. Gutro, a former city councillor, is concluding his first four-year term on the board.
Cahill, the executive director of the Recovered Souls Foundation and a former administrator at Quincy College, was making her first run for elected office. Cahill said she was grateful for and humbled by the support she received during the campaign.
“When I reflect on the past few months, I am overwhelmed by the show of support I have received since I entered the race,” Cahill said in a statement. “I know it’s a cliché, but elections are not about one person; they are about a team of individuals with the same values, priorities, and commitment to the community in which they live. In this race especially, we were focused on what’s best for the students in our city and the education they receive.
“My supporters are second to none. They were passionate, tireless, and committed to my candidacy, and that’s why we were successful. I am incredibly grateful and humbled.
“I hope to make them and the voters proud, and I hope to represent their values, priorities, and commitment to our students and the City of Quincy during my term on the school committee.”
A preliminary election had been held in the School Committee race in September, to whittle a field of seven candidates down to the six who appeared on this month’s ballot.
Cahill and Lebo had topped the field in the September preliminary election, with 2,330 and 2,216 votes respectively. Perdios placed third in the preliminary with 1,984 votes followed by Schaaf with 1,915 votes, Gutro with 1,777 and Speakman with 1,351. Ellen Patterson O’Donnell finished in seventh with 857 and was eliminated from the race.
There were four contested City Council on the ballot.
In the city councillor at-large race, incumbent Noel DiBona topped the field with 7,732 votes. Fellow incumbents Anne Mahoney (6,917 votes) and Nina Liang (6,720) were also reelected. Challenger William Burke finished with 2,705 votes.
DiBona and Liang were elected to their fourth terms on the council and Mahoney her third. DiBona and Mahoney both previously served on the school board.
In the Ward 1 council race, incumbent David McCarthy bested challenger Joseph Murphy, 1,493 to 931. McCarthy, a former school board member, won his third term on the council. He and Murphy have now gone head to head three times.
In the Ward 2 council race, incumbent Anthony Andronico defeated challenger Steven Perdios, 851 to 546. This will be Andronico’s first full term on the council; he was appointed to the Ward 2 seat in January following the resignation of long-time councillor Brad Croall.
Andronico, who had been serving on the School Committee prior to joining the council, said he appreciated the support of the voters of Ward 2.
“Thank you to the voters of Ward 2 for putting your trust in me to continue serving as your Councillor for the next two years. We won every precinct and finished with over 60 percent of the vote and I am truly humbled by your support,” Andronico said in a statement.
“I entered public office four years ago at 24 years old because I wanted to help make a positive difference in my hometown. Although the roles have changed since that time, our goal has always remained the same and I am proud of what we have accomplished. As your Councillor, we have made a lot of progress over the past year to make our neighborhoods a better place to call home.
“We will face many challenges in the years ahead – keeping Quincy affordable, managing traffic and development, repairing our infrastructure, investing in education, and more – but I know we can find solutions if we work together.
“I’d also like to take a moment to thank my opponent, Steve Perdios, who ran a class campaign focused on the issues – which is something we’re seeing less of in politics these days.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to work for the people of Quincy.”
In the Ward 5 council race, incumbent Charles Phelan Jr. fended off a challenge from Stephen Christo, 1,200 to 797. Phelan was seeking his second consecutive term; he previously represented Ward 5 on the council from 1988 to 1996. He and Christo had faced off two years ago.
The remaining incumbent councillors – Ward 3 Councillor Ian Cain, Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci. and Ward 6 Councillor William Harris – were all unopposed. Cain garnered 1,169 votes on Election Day, Palmucci finished with 932 and Harris had 1,401. Cain and Harris were seeking their fourth terms and Palmucci his seventh.
Turnout in the final election was 16.9 percent, with 10,807 of Quincy’s 63,938 eligible voters casting ballots. City Clerk Nicole Crispo had predicted a turnout between 15 and 18 percent ahead of Election Day.