Former interim police Chief John McCarthy won one of four city councilor at-large seats at play in Tuesday's elections, becoming the only newcomer to join the body's city-wide representatives.

McCarthy finished second, with 2,915 votes, or 18 percent of those cast.

Leading the pack was Councilor at-Large Melissa Cox, with 3,018 votes, or 19 percent.

Councilors at-large Jennifer Holmgren, with 17 percent of the vote, and James O'Hara Jr., with 16 percent, rounded out the top four.

"I'm humbled," Cox said afterward. "I'm definitely excited to be in the top (spot). It's a long, hard campaign, and with all the new people I was equally as nervous as the new people were. You just never know."

Her top priority going forward, she said, will be "better communication within the city. We owe it to the residents to really talk to them about what's going on with costs — the schools, a secondary water treatment plant — a lot of things that are going to affect a lot of people."

Despite garnering the largest number of votes two years in a row, Cox said she plans to seek the vice presidency of the council. She said she expects Ward 3 Councilor Steve LeBlanc Jr. will be the new president following the departure of Councilor at-Large Paul Lundberg, who did not seek re-election. Councilors elect their president after the Jan. 1 swearing-in ceremony.

Holmgren said she was "awfully grateful" to be re-elected in what ended up being a "really tight race."

Just missing a councilor at-large seat was Christopher DiMercurio-Sicuranza, a former aide to Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, who ran a high-profile, energetic race and enjoyed a large network of supporters in the city. He wound up 430 votes, or 2.6 percentage points, behind O'Hara.

DiMercurio-Sicuranza said following the posting of the results that he was nervous as of late afternoon when it became clear turnout was going to below.

Some 25 percent of registered voters cast ballots, compared with 29 percent in the 2017 municipal election and 49 percent in 2015, a year that featured a hotly-contested race for mayor.

DiMercurio-Sicuranza, a veteran political operative, said it appeared turnout was especially low among young voters.

Elections for U.S. president have have driven turnouts of about 75 percent in Gloucester in recent years.

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