NEW BEDFORD — In the midst of low voter turnout, Ward 3 residents elected Hugh Dunn to fill the vacant city council seat during Tuesday's special election. 

Dunn, a former legislative aide to Congressman Bill Keating and current director of economic development for UMass Dartmouth and executive director for SouthCoast Development Partnership, defeated Bethany Fauteux by more than a 2:1 margin.

Dunn said he looks forward to serving residents in from a new role.

"Over the past few years I've been working to keep the city moving forward and I think that, this election tonight, residents of Ward 3 have allowed me to continue doing that in a different capacity," Dunn said.

Dunn garnered 68.9 percent with 471 votes while Fauteux received 30.7 percent with 210 votes.

Only 685 ballots were cast of the 9,618 registered voters in the ward, accounting for under 7 percent voter turnout.

Fauteux said she learned a lot from the campaign, but especially the need for people to be more involved in local government.

"I learned that people need to get out and vote and become involved," Fauteux said. "Look at the voter turnout, we're never going to rise as a city if people don't become involved."

Both candidates shook hands and congratulated each other on a well-run race as the results were announced in the Elections Commission Office in City Hall.

Dunn will be sworn into office Wednesday and sit in his first council meeting on Thursday, though with former Ward 3 councilor Henry Bousquet sharing his wisdom, he isn't worried about a learning curve.

"I think that I have a very good relationship with Henry (Bousquet) and Henry was regarded as an excellent councilor and I think that he can help me address any learning curve but I'm very confident that I'll be able to hit the ground running as soon as I'm sworn in," said Dunn.

Another race for the Ward 3 seat will begin shortly, as fall's general election is just around the corner.

Fauteux said she didn't know if she would run again while Dunn will once again be running to keep his seat.

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