In a tight race, Boston's four city-wide at-large councilors held on to their seats Tuesday, fending off a challenge from a former council president and mayoral contender.
Councilors Ayanna Pressley, Felix Arroyo, John Connolly and Stephen Murphy won re-election, with former Councilor Michael Flaherty finishing a close fifth. According to the unofficial tally, Murphy, the fourth-place finisher, beat Flaherty by just 922 votes. The vote difference between ticket-topper Pressley and Flaherty was 11,716 votes.
Pressley, who became the first African-American woman elected to the council two years ago, had lagged in fundraising before the election, leading some to think she was the most vulnerable incumbent.
Hyde Park businessman Will Dorcena and Jamaica Plain schoolteacher Sean Ryan finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the at-large contest.
In District 2, which includes South Boston, the South End and Chinatown, as well as a few precincts in Dorchester and Roxbury, incumbent Councilor Bill Linehan fended off challenger Suzanne Lee by just 87 votes (5,065 to 4,978), according to the unofficial tally.
Lee had topped Linehan by 4 percent in September’s preliminary election.
In Dorchester's District 3, Frank Baker bested John O'Toole by more than 1,000 votes to take the seat left open by departing Councilor Maureen Feeney.
In other contested council races, incumbents Charles Yancey (District 4) and Tito Jackson (District 7) won easily, retaining their seats.
More than 18 percent of the city's voters — some 63,000 — turned out to vote in the municipal elections.
This program aired on November 8, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.