NEW BEDFORD — The New Bedford City Council has unanimously reelected Ward 6 Councilor Joseph P. Lopes to serve as council president in 2021.

Lopes, who has represented his South End ward since 2009 and has been elected council president at least three other times, thanked his colleagues for their continued support and friendship after they voted 11-0 on Monday night to keep him in the president’s chair.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to be back in the council chambers in 2021,” Lopes said during Monday’s virtual council meeting.

Lopes, 46, a vice president and loan officer at BayCoast Bank, said he “looked forward to another proactive year” with his colleagues on the city council, which has been meeting remotely on Zoom since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the city last March.

“It would be nice to be back in the room,” Lopes said.

Lopes served as president of the city council in 2014, 2017 and 2020. In reelecting Lopes, councilors also voted 11-0 to waive a rule that normally prohibits councilors from serving two consecutive terms as council president.

A lifelong city resident and graduate of New Bedford High School, Lopes graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and from John and Wales University in 2002 with a Master's in Business Administration.

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