The city councilor from Ward 6 will be the next President of the New Bedford City Council, according to numerous sources I have spoken with about the election.

The city of New Bedford has often had contentious battles over the presidency of its city council. The vote is taken by the members of the council only. This year, there were three candidates for the position, according to my sources both inside and outside the council.

Current City Council President Linda Morad was interested in serving another term in the big chair. At-large Councilor Ian Abreu, who was the top vote-getter in the 2019 at-large final election, was testing the waters among his colleagues as well.

Without naming names, there are two councilors who are believed to have broken their word to at least one of the three candidates for the presidency. That can be politics in the big city. It is also a terrible way to do business in a business where handshakes still matter.

I remember a local legislator who was involved in a leadership fight for Massachusetts Speaker of the House telling me about his experience. It looked like he was on the losing side and the other side came to him to switch. He told the future Speaker of the House, "I think you are going to win, but my word is my word and if I break it now, you will never be able to trust my word. I will keep my word and in the future, you should remember that if you ask for my vote, I will keep my word no matter how the vote will come out in the end." That legislator was a chairman a few years later under that Speaker of the House.

Councilor Joe Lopes, who has a Masters in Business Administration from Johnson and Wales University, is well suited to become the next President of the City Council. He previously served as president in both 2014 and 2017. He has served multiple terms as the Chairman of the Finance Committee as well as Chairman of the Audit Committee, along with other important chairmanships.

President Lopes has an important year of work in front of him.

Because I believe the next president has the right to announce his victory or his own schedule, I did not seek his comment for this column.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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