Three New Faces on City Council, All At-Large Candidates Re-Elected
NEW BEDFORD - Three wards in New Bedford will have new representation come January after Tuesday's election.
In Ward One, William Markey defeated challenger Melissa Costa by a margin of 312 votes.
Markey, a first-time public office holder, says he's anxious to find solutions to violent crime in the city's north end. "I've already met with Captain (Amos) Melo, the Commander of Station Three, and he's got some ideas. And I thought I'd get together with him and find ways to work together to try to solve those types of problems," said Markey.
In speaking with Ward One residents, Markey says one of their greatest concerns are rising taxes, another issue he wants to address during his time in office.
Markey is replacing outgoing Ward One Councilor Jim Oliveira, who opted not to run for re-election.
After losing to Jon Mitchell in a run for mayor two years ago, Maria Giesta returned with a vengeance, defeating opponent Edwin Cartagena for the Ward Two seat on the New Bedford City Council. Giesta scored 1,115 votes to Cartagena's 368.
Giesta tells WBSM News the council needs to have stronger leadership on the opioid epidemic. She says the high usage of the overdose reversing drug Narcan is troubling, but also morally conflicting. "I mean, I hate to say it, but are you going to let somebody just die and not try to revive them? If that was my child I would hope somebody would try to revive my child," said Giesta.
Giesta is replacing outgoing Ward Two Councilor Steven Martins, who dropped out of the race for Assessor.
Scott Lima defeated challenger Paul Chasse to replace Kerry Winterson in Ward Five. Winterson decided not to run for re-election.
Upon learning that the 7-Eleven on Acushnet Avenue will be closing due to a high rate of theft, Lima tells WBSM News crime doesn't pay, but someone always has to pay for it. "Crime is expensive. It's expensive to prosecute. It's expensive to lock people up. And now we have a business that's going under and maybe a loss of property taxes. I'll keep saying it," said Lima. "Crime is expensive."
Ward Four City Councilor Dana Rebeiro will serve another term following a narrow victory over former Ward Four Councilor Joseph "Jo-Jo" Fortes Tuesday night. Only 48 votes separated the two candidates.
Rebeiro has long stated that she would only serve three terms in the City Council. She won her bid for her third term Tuesday night, and reiterated that it would be her final term on the council. "I just think that this sort of monopoly of the same people thinking it's "their seat" isn't helping. And I welcome the new ideas and the new energy," said Rebeiro.
However, Rebeiro says she is willing to advise the next person to fill the seat.
At-Large councilors Brian Gomes, Ian Abreu, Linda Morad, Naomi Carney, and Deborah Coelho were all re-elected to serve another term on the council.
Brian Gomes 7,510
Ian Abreu 7,468
Linda Morad 7,020
Naomi Carney 5,959
Deborah Coelho 5,893
Christopher Boerl 4,217
Michael Janson 3,260
Ward 1 Councillor:
William Brad Markey 1,645
Melissa Costa 1,333
Ward 2 Councillor:
Maria Giesta 1,115
Edwin Cartagena 368
Ward 3 Councillor:
Hugh Dunn 1,385
Ward 4 Councillor:
Dana Ribeiro 1,165
Joseph "Jo Jo" Fortes 1,117
Scott Lima 1,610
Paul Chasse 1,421
Joseph Lopes 1,414