PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tricia Farley-Bouvier captured the Democratic nomination for 3rd Berkshire District in a special election primary on Tuesday that saw low turnout.
Farley-Bouvier, a former city councilor, topped her opponents by only a few hundred votes, garnering 1,430 votes to Peter White's 1,234 and Ryan Scago's 1,082.
Farley-Bouvier is now in a four-way race to fill the 3rd Berkshire District seat.
About 17 percent of registered voters went to the polls. Votes were also cast in the Green-Rainbow Party primary for Mark Miller and as write-ins the Republican Party primary to place Mark Jester on the ballot for October.
Farley-Bouvier was magnanimous in victory, saying that she had "tremendous respect" for the other two candidates.
"This was the cleanest, friendliest campaign I've ever participated in," she told iBerkshires on Wednseday.
She will face off in less than a month against Miller, Jester and independent Pam Malumphy to see who will fill the state representative seat left vacant by Christopher Speranzo.
Meanwhile, White says he will mount a write-in campaign to see if he can hold onto his Ward 2 seat on the City Council. Kevin Morandi is running unopposed for the seat; White beat him for the council spot two years ago. Under Massachusetts electoral law, there is no minimum number of votes required for a write-in candidate — to win, they simply have to receive the highest number of votes.
"I'm not done serving Pittsfield," White told supporters gathered at Patrick's Pub on Tuesday. "I'm not ready to give up my Ward 2 seat."
White pledged to support Farley-Bouvier going forward in the special election.
"Make sure you listen to what goes on in this campaign, because everything we've talked about in this campaign still needs to be fought for. We still need single-payer health care, we still need jobs in Pittsfield, we still need to change our educational system," he said.
Farley-Bouvier also praised White's announcement that he will seek election through a write-in campaign for Ward 2. "At the very beginning of this campaign, I told Pete how valuable I believe he is on the City Council," she said. "I'm absolutely thrilled he will run for re-election to his seat."
She said one of the biggest concerns will be getting out ballot-weary voters for the special election on Oct. 18. Counting Tuesday's primary and the city's preliminary election on Tuesday, Sept. 27, it will be the third election in less than a month for Pittsfield. The general election is Nov. 8.
"The biggest surprise yesterday was the voter turnout, which was very low," said Farley-Bouvier. "So one of the big things will be educating people and making them aware that there is a special election going on."
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Hopefully Pam Malumphy will make a great showing. The sad part with this primary is Tricia Farley-Bouvier ran as an pro eduction candidate while sending her kids to Lenox Schools. I would have thought Pittsfield voters were smarter than this but then again?
Clearly Pittsfield voters aren't that smart to let that factoid slip by. It is truly a sad day when a desperate, unemployed "champion of Pittsfield education" not only sends her kids to Lenox schools but also now all-knowing when it comes down to what should be down about Pittsfield schools. The funniest thing she said in the "debate" was that "I've traveled...." and went on and on how traveling will help her do her job. Clearly she traveled to Lenox on those trips.
All 3 democrats were a joke. Tricia is in the mayors pocket and Pete White isn't far behind and Scago is just too young and inexperienced. Now Pete White is going to try and win back his Ward 2 seat...very unfair. He made his choice and should man up and just stick to it. He lost fair and square and should let Morandi have his seat, since he obviously wants it more. White is going to back Tricia...what a joke. Pam Malumphy is by far the best choice and the most honest person running. You are a fool if you don't vote for her.
I'm not sure it's safe to conclude that all of either Scago or White's votes would have magically all gone to one or the other of them and none to Tricia.
In fact, my impression talking to many, many people in town is that *part* of the reason for low turnout at the polls is that many people were more-or-less 'comfortable' with all 3 Democratic candidates. Many had a preference, but did not see it as an overwhelmingly dire race.
I've not seen anything from Farley-Bouvier to indicate that she has any impulses for a reform agenda down in Boston. So I have to conclude that if she wins, she will be another sheep in Speaker DeLeo's flock, voting the way the House leadership tells her to.
Pam Malumphy is the best candidate, having relevant experience and holding varied positions in community organizations. Based on her website, she seems to be have the most solid goals for our region and expresses genuine energy and commitment.
The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.
Absentee ballots are available at town and city clerk offices until noon on June 24.