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How It Unfolded: Walsh Is Elected Mayor

The News: It’s a historic change for Boston. Martin Walsh will be the city’s next mayor, as he defeated John Connolly in a tight race. Walsh replaces longtime Mayor Thomas Menino.

- STORY: Walsh Elected The Next Mayor Of Boston

RELATED: East Boston Rejects Suffolk Downs Casino Proposal

Map: Where Walsh, Connolly Won

See here for our interactive precinct-by-precinct results map.

Recap: Who Won Today’s Watched Races

Recapping the main races we were watching this Election Day 2013:

Boston Mayor:
Walsh over Connolly

Boston City Council:
– At-large winners: Pressley, Wu, Flaherty, Murphy
– District 1 – Salvatore LaMattina
– District 2 – Bill Linehan
– District 3 – Frank Baker (unopposed)
– District 4 – Charles Yancey
– District 5 – Timothy McCarthy
– District 6 – Matt O’Malley
– District 7 – Tito Jackson
– District 8 – Josh Zakim
– District 9 – Mark Ciommo

Suffolk Downs Casino:
– East Boston – No
– Revere – Yes

Lawrence Mayor:
– Rivera over Lantigua

Palmer Casino:
– No

Photos: Walsh Wins; Connolly Concedes

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh celebrates his victory. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh celebrates his victory. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)

City Councilor John Connolly concedes to state Rep. Marty Walsh in Boston's mayoral race. (Dominick Reuter/WBUR)

City Councilor John Connolly concedes to state Rep. Marty Walsh in Boston’s mayoral race. (Dominick Reuter/WBUR)

Walsh: Mission Is To Make Boston A ‘Hub Of Opportunity’

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh celebrates his victory. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)

Mayor-elect Marty Walsh celebrates his victory. (Joe Spurr/WBUR)

A warm and grateful Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh celebrated with a packed room of supporters in his victory speech just now.

“If we set our sights high, Boston, I promise you, the best is yet to come,” he said toward the end of his remarks.

“This is Boston strong, and together, we’re going to make Boston even stronger,” he added.

Walsh stressed equality in his speech.

“My mission as mayor to make Boston a hub of opportunity,” he said.

Walsh thanked his supporters — from the candidates in the preliminary who endorsed him to his “brothers and sisters” in the labor movement — Mayor Thomas Menino and his challenger, John Connolly.

Final Tally In Walsh Over Connolly

- Walsh: 51.55 percent (72,514 votes)
– Connolly: 48.06 percent (67,606)

That’s per the city’s unofficial results.

How About The Boston City Council?

Four have been elected at-large city councilors, out of eight candidates. Here they are, per unofficial city tallies:

– Ayanna Pressley – 18.30 percent
– Michelle Wu – 17.98 percent
– Michael Flaherty – 16.59 percent
– Stephen Murphy – 13.54 percent

Pressley and Murphy were the two incumbents on the ballot. Flaherty is a former councilor.

And here’s who won the district races, per unofficial city tallies:

– District 1 – Salvatore LaMattina
– District 2 – Bill Linehan
– District 3 – Frank Baker (unopposed)
– District 4 – Charles Yancey
– District 5 – Timothy McCarthy
– District 6 – Matt O’Malley
– District 7 – Tito Jackson
– District 8 – Josh Zakim
– District 9 – Mark Ciommo

Connolly Concedes, Pledges ‘Full Support’ To Walsh

City Councilor John Connolly concedes to state Rep. Marty Walsh in Boston's mayoral race. (Dominick Reuter/WBUR)

City Councilor John Connolly concedes to state Rep. Marty Walsh in Boston’s mayoral race. (Dominick Reuter/WBUR)

“We came up short tonight, but I am very proud of how we ran this campaign,” John Connolly just said in a high-energy concession speech.

Connolly expressed pride in the diversity of his supporters and the issues he championed.

He was also gracious when speaking of Walsh.

“Marty Walsh is a good man … and he will do good things for Boston,” said Connolly, who added that Walsh has his “full support.”

Connolly also thanked Menino “for being a great mayor,” even though he acknowledged that he’s disagreed with Menino in the past.

Marty Walsh Is The Next Mayor Of Boston

The current mayor, Thomas Menino, has confirmed the news of his successor by tweeting his call to Mayor-Elect Walsh.

Here’s more from WBUR’s Deb Becker:

Palmer Turns Down Mohegan Sun Casino

It’s another loss for a casino proposal in Massachusetts.

By a slim, 93-vote margin — 2,657 votes to 2,564 — voters in the western Massachusetts town of Palmer have turned down a proposed Mohegan Sun casino proposal there, the town told WBUR.

Approximately 66 percent of Palmer voters turned out.

With 58 Percent Reporting….

Walsh has a 51 percent-to-49 percent lead.

Additionally, the Walsh campaign has told WBUR’s David Scharfenberg and Fred Thys that it believes it has the votes to win this election. We’re awaiting official returns, however.

East Boston Is A No On Suffolk Downs

East Boston has voted against the Suffolk Downs casino proposal, the WBUR Newsroom has confirmed (Update: The final tally was 56 percent (4,281 votes) to 44 percent (3,353)). Here’s an emailed statement from Chip Tuttle, the racetrack’s chief operating officer:

On behalf of the hundreds of volunteers, supporters and employees of Suffolk Downs, we want to thank the people of Revere for their overwhelming vote of confidence in our project. We believe that the people of Revere voted for jobs and a boost to their economy.

We thank the people of East Boston for allowing us to state our case for thousands of jobs for local residents and we appreciate the support we received.

We will reassess our plans based on tonight’s results.

Tuttle also told our WBUR’s Bruce Gellerman that Suffolk Downs may seek to work with Revere about a proposal solely in that city.

Update: A statement from Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo:

Today, the people of Revere voted for jobs and economic development for their city and for the future of resort gaming in Revere. Tonight I called Suffolk Downs and I have asked them to reshape their project and to build it only on their 52 acres in Revere. I will work with the Gaming Commission so that Revere’s affirmative land-use vote on this issue can stand. Our community will continue to fight so that Revere can win this boost to our local economy.

With 22 Percent Reporting…

Walsh has the slim lead, 50.18 percent to 49.48 percent.

With 10 Percent Reporting…

Connolly has the early lead, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Polls Have Closed; The Counting Begins

Polls are now closed in Boston.

The results will soon begin to come in atop this page, and we’ll post occasional updates with the numbers.

There’s also special coverage on WBUR-FM. Listen here.

A reminder: The results don’t come in uniformly, but rather piecemeal, from various wards across the city.

Split Decisons In JP

As WBUR’s Fred Thys reported earlier, Jamaica Plain is one of the neighborhoods the campaigns are eyeing. Here’s a sample of what we heard:

Getting the endorsements of John Barros and Felix Arroyo both made a big difference to me because those are community leaders that I really respect and who I really trust to push someone towards accountability.

– Elizabeth Miller, who voted for Walsh

I voted for him because of his willingness to tackle the issues, the systemic issues in the Boston public schools.

– Esther Kaplan, who voted for Connolly

Boston's 6 PM Turnout: 30.55 Percent

The latest turnout tally from the city:

As has been the case throughout the day, turnout remains strongest in Wards 20 (West Roxbury) and 16 (Dorchester), with East Boston, Charlestown, Jamaica Plain and Hyde Park just behind.

Where The Campaigns Focused Their Efforts Today

With 90 minutes until polls close, here’s how WBUR reporters Fred Thys and Asma Khalid broke down Boston’s mayoral election last hour on All Things Considered:

Fred noted that both the Walsh and Connolly campaigns were paying close attention to the neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Roxbury, trying to win that contested turf.

Candidates Making Last-Minute Appeals

With polls open for another three hours, mayoral candidates John Connolly and Marty Walsh are making last-minute appeals to prospective voters.

Just earlier, Connolly was out shaking hands at Trinity Academy in Hyde Park, while, before that, Walsh stopped by businesses in Jamaica Plain.

The next turnout numbers come at 6 p.m., and we’ll also have an audio report soon from WBUR’s Fred Thys.

Boston’s 3 PM Turnout: 20.93 Percent

That turnout among registered voters is about 26 percent higher than at this point in the preliminary election.

On Twitter, MassINC Polling Group’s Steve Koczela has a table of votes in each ward, compared to the preliminary election tallies.

Casino Drives Many To Polls In Eastie

From left: Sandra Najjar, Dino Tavano and Giordana Mecagni hold signs to either support or reject the casino plan for Suffolk Downs. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

From left: Sandra Najjar, Dino Tavano and Giordana Mecagni hold signs to either support or reject the casino plan for Suffolk Downs. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Reporting from East Boston today, WBUR’s Asma Khalid found some strong turnout. Eastie, along with neighboring Revere, are deciding whether to allow a proposed casino at Suffolk Downs.

She reported for our Newscast Unit:

At polling places across East Boston, many of the signs for and against the casino are bigger than the signs for the candidates.

Twenty-one-year-old Aida Palencia says she came out to the polls because of the casino issue. In fact, she didn’t actually know who was running for mayor.

Palencia thinks it’s not wise to build a casino in this neighborhood.

“And I don’t think that will help our economy,” she said. “Instead it might bring more poverty.”

But Sarah Garcia sees the casino as an opportunity. She voted yes.

“We’re gonna have a lot of jobs,” she said. “We’re going to have a lot of money.”

That’s if voters and the state’s gaming commission approve Suffolk’s plans.

Photos: Boston Votes

WBUR’s Jesse Costa captured this photo earlier today as Elenor Johnson handed out leaflets in front of the Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury:

Lenor Johnson hands out leaflet to voters in front of Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

See here for many more Election Day photos.

Analysis: Will Black And Latino Boston Decide The Election?

by David Scharfenberg

It has been, perhaps, the central narrative of the final election: with City Councilor John Connolly strong on the western edge of the city and state Representative Marty Walsh holding down the eastern edge, it is the center of the city — the heart of black and Latino Boston — that will make the difference.

In a tight election, that may very well prove to be true.

But turnout figures released by the city at 9 am and noon point to an enduring reality of Boston politics: it is the whiter precincts on the city’s edges that dominate turnout.

While turnout in the center of the city is higher, so far, than it was in the 12-way preliminary election in September, the biggest gains — in percentage terms — have come in the well-to-do downtown precincts.

And when it comes to the raw numbers, whiter precincts in neighborhoods like West Roxbury, South Boston and Charlestown are predominant, as they always are.

But even if turnout remains modest in Roxbury and Mattapan, those neighborhoods could prove decisive if they deliver a lopsided victory — say 60-40 for one candidate over the other.

Polling for much of the campaign showed a tight race in black and Latino Boston. But the last public poll, conducted by Suffolk University for the Boston Herald, had Walsh opening up significant leads among blacks and Latinos (he led 60-40 among blacks and Latinos combined).

Can Walsh hold that margin? Or will an even split make the center of Boston less-than-decisive?

In the end, whether the black and Latino heart of the city can claim the mantle of kingmaker may not matter much.

Both Connolly and Walsh devoted considerable energy to the center of the city in this campaign — and both have pledged a more open City Hall. Activists from Roxbury and Mattapan are hoping for a bigger voice in the new Boston, whoever is in the corner office.

Boston’s 12 PM Turnout: 14.55 Percent

The latest turnout tally, from the city:

Here’s our earlier analysis of Boston’s early-morning voting.

Analysis: Reading The Tea Leaves On 9 AM Turnout

by David Scharfenberg

On Election Day, the city releases turnout figures every three hours. Those figures tell us nothing about voter choice. But they’re important, nonetheless. They say where voters are turning out. And where matters.

In the 12-way preliminary election, City Councilor John Connolly fared best on the more affluent western edge of the city — starting with his home base in West Roxbury, extending up through Jamaica Plain and into the Back Bay and the South End.

State Representative Marty Walsh did best in the more blue-collar precincts of his home base in Dorchester and nearby South Boston.

As of 9 am, turnout in both candidates’ home wards was up. But the biggest gains were in the downtown precincts crucial to the Connolly camp.

Those precincts, with plenty of younger newcomers, tend to vote in presidential elections, but skip municipal elections. If Connolly can reverse that trend, he’ll be in a strong position.

Observers agree that, broadly speaking, larger turnout helps Connolly — expanding the electorate beyond Walsh’s more traditional-Boston base.

Menino Casts His Ballot In Hyde Park

Mayor Thomas Menino after casting his ballot in Hyde Park. (Alex Koktsidis/WBUR)

Mayor Thomas Menino after casting his ballot in Hyde Park. (Alex Koktsidis/WBUR)

Outside the Roosevelt School in Hyde Park before casting his ballot this morning, outgoing Mayor Thomas Menino wouldn’t say who he was voting for but advised his successor to gain the public’s trust.

“If the voter trusts you, you can do a lot of things,” Menino told reporters. “I took on some real tough issues and the people trusted me with the my decision process, they believed in it.”

Menino also said he was looking forward to sleeping in when his term ends in January.

Turnout As Of 9 AM

The Boston Elections Department tweeted that as of 9 a.m., 7.02 percent of registered voters had cast ballots in Boston.

At the same time on the day of the Sept. 24 preliminary, about 5 percent of voters had cast ballots.

Photos: Connolly, Walsh Cast Their Ballots

John Connolly casts his ballot. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

John Connolly casts his ballot. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Marty Walsh casts his ballot. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Marty Walsh casts his ballot. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Mayoral candidate John Connolly and his wife, Meg Kassakian Connolly, joined by their children, head into the St. George's Orthodox Church in West Roxbury to cast their ballots. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Mayoral candidate John Connolly and his wife, Meg Kassakian Connolly, joined by their children, head into the St. George’s Orthodox Church in West Roxbury to cast their ballots. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Mayoral candidate Marty Walsh, with his longtime partner Lorrie Higgins and her daughter Lauren, head into the Cristo Rey School in Savin Hill to cast their ballots. (Asma Khalid/WBUR)

Mayoral candidate Marty Walsh, with his longtime partner Lorrie Higgins and her daughter Lauren, head into the Cristo Rey School in Savin Hill to cast their ballots. (Asma Khalid/WBUR)

In Final Hour, Campaigns Present A Stark Contrast

WBUR’s Fred Thys reports that the final full day on the campaign trail presented stark differences between the campaigns of Boston mayoral candidates state Rep. Marty Walsh and City Councilor John Connolly:

There could not have been a greater contrast between the people among whom the candidates found themselves. The African-American and Caribbean-American families Connolly engaged at their front doors [Monday night] seemed a world away from the Strand Theatre, where hundreds of people — mostly white men, many union members — gathered to hear Walsh.

Read his full report here.

Connolly Or Walsh? Polls Are Open In Boston

Polls are now open in Boston, until 8 p.m. Here are your Election Day basics:

Mayoral Race

It’s not every election Boston gets a new mayor, as Thomas Menino has led the city since 1993. Tonight, either City Councilor John Connolly or state Rep. Marty Walsh will be elected Menino’s successor.

Making a last-minute voting decision? Visit this post, which has brief biographies and links to WBUR interviews and profiles. And see this post for four key differences between Connolly and Walsh. (For much more, all of our mayoral race posts are here.)

Who will win? The last two polls have Walsh leading. That’s a change from earlier polls — like ours, on Oct. 23 — which had Connolly ahead.

What else?

— Walsh won the endorsement battle among their former competitors in the preliminary election. Connolly has the backing of both The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald.

— The race has seen a flood of outside money, most of which has benefited Walsh, as CommonWealth magazine has detailed. The outside money has contributed to discussions of negative campaigning in the race’s final weeks.

City Council

Eight candidates are competing for four at-large seats on the Boston City Council, and there are eight contested races for district council seats. (See a PDF of the Boston ballot here.)

The at-large race features just two incumbents, Stephen Murphy and Ayanna Pressley, and two of the district races, Districts 5 and 8, will result in the election of new councilors. So, as WBUR’s Delores Handy reported in her preview, come tomorrow, expect some new faces on the council.

For more, check out Boston magazine’s Q&As with the council candidates.

Suffolk Downs Casino

There’s also a referendum on the proposed casino at Suffolk Downs for voters in East Boston and Revere — the two communities that straddle the racetrack.

The referendum goes forward despite Suffolk Downs dropping its previous casino operator, Caesars Entertainment, due to concerns over Caesars’ state background check. Suffolk Downs has not yet named a new operator.

Will the casino be approved? The latest poll of East Boston voters found narrow support, but our earlier poll, on the other hand, found narrow disapproval. There was no independent poll of Revere voters.

Anything else?

Why, yes. We’re also keeping an eye on some of the dozens of other municipal elections across the state today. Notably, embattled Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua is trying to fend off a challenge from City Councilor Daniel Rivera.

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