Former Ward 6 Councilor Pat Grimes said she and others supported Visnick because she will be more transparent and inclusive, two buzz words that ran throughout all of the campaigns. Decker worked closely with Scanlon on the “statement of interest” for the new middle school, a process that has been criticized by some for not including more people.
“The process should include the entire School Committee,” Grimes said. “This is why I strongly supported Lorinda.”
Schetzsle earned a reputation as a first-term councilor who asked tough and informed questions of the mayor. But he was upended by John Frates, a Beverly native from a well-known family who had the support of former Ward 6 Councilor Judith Cronin, his sister-in-law.
“Brett’s always had a full plate with a young family, and he didn’t really have the time to get out and canvas the neighborhoods and get to know as many constituents as he could have,” Guanci said. “He was up against a proven name, a name that people know, and a pretty big family.”
Martin said he lost his first re-election bid in 1991 before regaining the Ward 5 seat six years later.
“I completely understand what Brett is feeling today,” Martin said. “I am living proof that comebacks are possible.”
In the councilor-at-large race, first-time candidates Matt St. Hilaire and Todd Murphy both raised a good amount of money and ran strong campaigns. St. Hilaire grabbed the third and final spot behind incumbents Guanci and Jason Silva, edging out Murphy by 44 votes.
Murphy won five of the city’s six wards, but St. Hilaire rode to victory on the strength of a big win in his home Ward 6.
Despite the close margin, Murphy said he would not seek a recount.
“They got the result right,” he said. “I’m proud for the first time running. I think I did a pretty good job. My hat’s off to Matt and obviously to Paul and Jason, too.”
Estelle Rand and David Lang won open council seats in Ward 1 and Ward 2, respectively, while Latter and Ward 4 Councilor Scott Houseman easily won re-election.
St. Hilaire and Rand will join Silva as the youngest councilors, all at age 36.
In the only other contested School Committee race, Annemarie McNulty-Cesa won re-election by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.