NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — The ballot is set for New Bedford’s municipal election on November 7, and the mayor’s race will be a repeat of the last battle for leadership of the city.

In Tuesday’s primary, only the mayoral race, the councilor at large race and the Ward 5 race were on the preliminary ballots.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Jon Mitchell is seeking a sixth term and will face off once again against Richard Tyson Moultrie. Mitchell finished with 2,544 votes in the preliminary Tuesday and Moultrie had 357 votes. Nathan Almeida (252 votes), Michael Janson (238), Ryan Duarte (156) and Xavier Cardona (126) did not make the cut.

In the 2019 general election, Mitchell beat Moultrie, a political newcomer at the time, by a nearly three-to-one ratio, earning 6,778 votes for 72 percent, while Moultrie notched 2,483 votes for 26.38 percent. That race took a dramatic turn when Moultrie made a surprise appearance on WBSM and suggested Mitchell seemed “a little corrupt” without offering proof.

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

All five incumbent at-large councilors made it through the preliminary election. Ian Abreu once again was the top vote-getter, finishing with 2,067 votes. He was followed by freshman councilor Shane Burgo (1,711), longest-serving councilor Brian Gomes (1,527), current council president Linda Morad (1,447) and Naomi Carney (1,434).

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The next five vote-getters will move on to the general election on November 7: current Ward 5 Councilor Scott Lima (1,386), Devin Byrnes (1,170), former Ward 4 Councilor and council president Bruce Duarte (873), Guelmie Santiago (852) and Carmen Amaral (845). Amaral had posted on her Facebook page back on September 4 that she would be withdrawing from the race citing "circumstances beyond (her) control," but Election Commissioner Manny DeBrito told reporters Tuesday that she had not yet officially done so.

Joyce Rowley (498 votes) and Arya Witner (382) will not move on.

Mary Serreze/Townsquare Media
Mary Serreze/Townsquare Media

In Ward 5, incumbent Scott Lima chose not to seek re-election and instead ran for an at-large seat. Former Ward 6 Councilor and multi-time council president Joe Lopes was the top vote-getter in the preliminary election with 666 votes. He will face off against Zach Boyer, who got 377 votes. Ian Saunders (85 votes) and Carlos Maiato (52 votes) did not make the cut.

On the November 7 ballot, Ward 1 voters will choose between incumbent William “Brad” Markey and the man who challenged him in a close race two years ago, Leo Choquette.

Four ward races are uncontested. Ward 2 Councilor Maria Giesta, Ward 3 Councilor Shawn Oliver, Ward 4 Councilor Derek Baptiste and Ward 6 Councilor Ryan Pereira face no challengers for their respective seats in November.

Also on the November 7 ballot, three incumbents on the school committee – Christopher Cotter, Joaquim “Jack” Livramento and Bruce Oliveira – are running unopposed, as is the one uncontested candidate for assessor, Martin “Marty” Treadup.

Of the city’s 65,783 registered voters, voter turnout was only 6.10 percent for the preliminary election. That’s down from the 10.8 percent voter turnout in the 2021 preliminary election.

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