Lawrence Councilman Claims Victory In Mayor's Race
City Councilor Daniel Rivera claimed a narrow victory over incumbent Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua on Tuesday night in one of the state's most closely watched races.
The Eagle-Tribune reported that complete unofficial returns released by the city clerk showed Rivera with 60 more votes than Lantigua with 15,190 votes cast, and that police sealed the city election office.
Rivera, who received 7,625 votes, claimed victory Tuesday night and asked police to guard the ballots in anticipation of a recount. Lantigua, who had 7,565 votes, did not immediately comment.
Lantigua, 58, a former state legislator and Massachusetts' first popularly elected Latino mayor, had faced several high-profile political troubles, including allegations of campaign finance violations. Lantigua has said he strengthened the city's shaky finances during his four years in office.
Rivera, 42, has promised to improve schools and public safety and work to attract jobs to the city.
Lantigua was recently named in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley that alleged he violated campaign finance laws.
Two associates of the mayor, including his former chief of staff, pleaded not guilty in June to corruption charges. Lantigua himself has not been charged with any crimes and a recall effort mounted by opponents two years ago failed to collect enough certified signatures to move forward.
Rivera had endorsements from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas and the local teachers union.
The election was overseen by the office of Secretary of State William Galvin after reported irregularities in September's preliminary election, but no serious irregularities were reported Tuesday.
This article was originally published on November 05, 2013.
This program aired on November 5, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.