, Salem, MA


November 25, 2013

Rivera wins recount in Lawrence mayoral race

Lantigua does not concede


Short of a battle in Superior Court, the recount ends the tenure of a mayor who first captured the state’s attention when he was elected in 2009 as the first Latino to govern a Massachusetts city and kept it as his administration stumbled from scandal to scandal and through a series of criminal indictments among his top aides, including former Chief of Staff Leonard Degnan and Deputy police Chief Melix Bonilla.

Lantigua’s support within the state Democratic Party waned with each scandal and indictment, which was evident Saturday. The roll call of those who showed up to work for Rivera in the recount shows how alignments have shifted and suggested Lantigua may have little support within the party if he seeks an injunction to invalidate Rivera’s microscopic margin of victory — half a percentage point — and block him from taking office.

The 24 observers who showed up for Rivera included former state party chairman John Walsh, who now runs a political-action committee for Gov. Deval Patrick; Roger Lau, who manages a district office for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who endorsed Rivera on the eve of the election; and Michelle Wu, who was elected to the Boston City Council earlier this month.

When it ended, Walsh said he was not representing the Democratic Party or Gov. Patrick. He said he volunteered for Rivera because of their history of working together on campaigns.

“The votes have been counted and recounted, and the margin holds and grows a little bit today,” Walsh said. “Danny Rivera is going to be a fabulous mayor for the city.”

Many of those who showed up for Lantigua were City Hall employees, including his wife, Lorenza Ortega, a confidential secretary in the Personnel Department. She sat at a computer tallying the results delivered by runners from the recount tables and cut off an effort to interview another volunteer sitting beside her by telling the volunteer to say “nada,” or nothing.

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