Plenty of Votes Left to Earn in New Bedford Election [OPINION]
The candidates running for local office in New Bedford have a month to find enough votes to win. There is little time, but there are enough votes left to win.
Mayor Jon Mitchell had a great win in the October 1 preliminary election. He earned about 57 percent of the vote and his five opponents split what was left. His closest challenger, City Councilor Brian Gomes, immediately and officially left the race for mayor to concentrate on his re-election to the city council. Because of Gomes' decision to withdraw, the third-place finisher, Richard Tyson Moultrie, is now on the November final election ballot as the challenger to Mayor Mitchell.
There are plenty of other races in New Bedford besides the election for mayor. There are races for some ward-based city council seats, five seats for city council in the at-large position, and there are three seats on the city's school committee.
The preliminary election had a citywide voter turn out of approximately 9.5 percent, which is just 5,618 individual voters in Massachusetts' fourth-largest city.
The final election is an entirely different world. The number of voters who traditionally come out in the city's final elections is more than double the 9.5 percent who voted in the preliminary.
Two years ago, there was a 25 percent turnout in November and four years ago there was about a 23 percent turnout in the final New Bedford election. The difference between the number of voters in the preliminary and the final is historically enormous, and in that difference is the hope of the challenger candidates.
There are 36 voting precincts in New Bedford. Each precinct is unique in how they vote and in how many voters turn out. It is up to each candidate to figure out where they are likely to earn the most votes and to act accordingly in the next month.
I have done a historical analysis of each of the 36 precincts and over the next month, I will share with you my election mathematics and my thoughts on how it will impact the various races in the city.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.