By SCOTT JACKSON
Thirty-five percent of Quincy’s 63,700 registered voters are expected to cast ballots in Tuesday’s municipal election, which features contested races for mayor, City Council and School Committee.
Topping the ballot in this year’s election is the contest for mayor between the incumbent, Mayor Thomas Koch, a Newbury Avenue resident, and Councillor at-large Anne Mahoney, a Ferriter Street resident. Koch has served as mayor since 2008 having been elected in the prior year’s municipal election. Mahoney has served as councillor at-large for six years after serving a dozen years on the School Committee.
This is the third time Koch and Mahoney have run against each other for mayor. Koch bested her in the final election in 2011. In the 2015 preliminary election, Mahoney finished fourth in a four-person field, behind Koch, former Mayor William Phelan, and then Councillor Douglas Gutro. Koch would defeat Phelan in the final election that year.
The winner of this year’s mayoral contest will be elected to a four-year term that runs through the end of 2027.
The ballot also includes contested City Council races in Wards 2, 4 and 6.
The Ward 2 race sees incumbent Anthony Andronico of Nicholl Street facing a challenge from Richard Ash of Mound Street. Andronico has served on the council since January 2021, when he was appointed to the seat following the resignation of long-time Ward 2 Councillor Brad Croall; Andronico had been serving on the School Committee at the time. This is Ash’s first time on the ballot though he put himself forward as a candidate for the vacant seat in 2021.
In Ward 4, incumbent James Devine of Cross Street is facing a challenge from Matthew Lyons of Centre Street. Devine was sworn-in in February after winning a special election that month to serve out the remainder of long-time Ward 4 Councillor Brian Palmucci’s term. Lyons had run in that special election as well, finishing third in a four-person preliminary.
In Ward 6, incumbent William Harris of Ashworth Road is facing a challenge from Deborah Riley of Landgrane Street. Harris was appointed to the seat in April 2016 following the death of long-time Ward 6 Councillor Brian McNamee. This is Riley’s first run for office.
Ward 1 Councillor David McCarthy of Whitney Road and Ward 3 Councillor Ian Cain of Forbes Hill Road are both unopposed this year. McCarthy was first elected to the council in 2017 and Cain was first elected in 2015.
In Ward 5, incumbent Charles Phelan Jr. opted not to seek reelection. Daniel Minton, a retired Quincy police lieutenant and a resident of Sims Road, is running unopposed for that seat.
In the councillor at-large race, three candidates are running unopposed for three seats. The field includes incumbents Noel DiBona of Chickatabot Road and Nina Liang of Grandview Avenue, both of whom were first elected to the council in 2015, as well as first-time candidate Scott Campbell of Rockland Street.
All city councillors are elected to two-year terms.
Six candidates are running for three seats on the School Committee this year.
All three school board members whose terms expire at the end of the year – Paul Bregoli of Willow Avenue, Kathryn Hubley of Marion Street and Frank Santoro of Lois Terrace – are running for reelection. Bregoli and Hubley were first elected to their seats in 2011. Santoro was elected to his seat in 2019; he had previously served two terms on the committee.
The school board race includes three challengers as well – Courtney Perdios of Ruggles Street, Liberty Schaaf of Howe Street and Vincent Tran of East Elm Avenue. Perdios previously served on the committee in 2021 after she was appointed to the seat vacated by Andronico; she finished fourth in that fall’s election. Schaaf also ran in 2021, finishing in fifth place. Tran is making his first run for office.
School Committee members serve staggered four-year terms, meaning three candidates are on the ballot every two years. The remaining three incumbents – Tina Cahill, Douglas Gutro and Emily Lebo – were elected to their terms in 2021 and those seats will next be on the ballot in 2025. The mayor is the seventh member of the committee and serves as its chairperson.
While Tuesday is Election Day, more than 3,330 Quincy residents have already cast ballots, taking advantage of the option to vote early or by mail. As of Monday afternoon, City Clerk Nicole Crispo said 3,153 early and mail-in ballots had been returned, along with 239 absentee ballots.
All ballots must be received at City Hall by 8 p.m. on Tuesday; ballots received after the deadline will not be counted regardless of when they are postmarked.
Residents who have not yet returned their ballots are advised to bring them to City Hall at 1305 Hancock St., where they can be placed in a drop-box outside the main entrance or brought to the Elections Department on the second floor of the glass annex building. Ballots cannot be returned to a polling place on Tuesday; voters who do so will be given the chance of casting a new ballot and having the first one marked as spoiled.
The secretary of state’s website has a tool for voters to track the status of their ballot.
All ballots received prior to Tuesday will be centrally tabulated at City Hall on Election Day, Crispo. Ballots that are received Tuesday will be counted at the polling places.
For residents who do plan to vote in-person on Tuesday, ten of the city’s polling places have changed since last year. The updated list of polling places can be found at the end of this story and on the Election Department’s webpage. You can also visit the secretary of state’s website to find your polling place.
Crispo expects 35 percent of the city’s registered voters will cast ballots by the time polls close on Tuesday, based on turnout in previous mayoral elections. The turnout in the 2019 mayoral election was 24.57 percent and in 2015 it was 41 percent.