A highlight from Voters Head To The Polls In 11 Cities And Towns Across Commonwealth

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This is radio boston. I'm tian during eleven. Cities and towns across massachusetts are holding their preliminary elections today and there are some fascinating races from the four women running to be the first female mayor of north adams. To the first district level city council elections ever in lull the communities voting run the gamut big small urban to rural and the candidates reflect that range and diversity. Wbrc simone rio is reporting on them. Today joins us now simone. Welcome back to radio boston. Hey thanks for having me. So i wanna start in lawrence simone. I think it is fascinating. Technically an open seat mayor. Dan rivera stepped down in january to head up mass development. After seven years leading the city. He was really visible after the merrimack valley. Gas explosion during school turnaround there underscoring just how important american be. And now we've got acting mayor kendrick vasquez trying to win a full term against four challengers including wait for it. And another former marissa simone. Wow and what are the big issues shaping the race there. yeah you know talking to people in lawrence. It seems like issues that resonate with people in cities across massachusetts. I is the pandemic Like other gateway cities lawrence has been hit really hard by the corona virus. Then of course people are concerned about the lack of housing in the city. I talked to a city councillor who told me that because of gentrification happening and displacement in neighboring cities rents that were just eight hundred dollars. Two years ago are now in the thirteen fourteen hundred dollar range. Ouch Public safety is another concern. In the city some advocates say the lawrence police needs to have greater sensitivity to the mental health issues facing residents by adding staff with that kind of training. And you have an interesting slate of candidates hoping to take on these issues as mayor. So i wanna talk a little bit more about that. You've got this unusual acting mayor versus former mayor. Tell us about those two candidates and how they are trying. To contrast themselves their visions for leadership et cetera. Yes so kendra. Vasquez is the contacting mayor. He was city council president when former mayor. Danielle rivera left office. In december to head mass development basket has has touted the creation of a foreclosure. Foreclosure ordinance as well as his efforts to get people in lawrence vaccinated. Then you have the return of william lundy gua us the first hispanic mayor in massachusetts And his years in office were really mired in controversy lenghty. What was a state rap and ran unsuccessfully against mayor rivera he recently worked for the us census and he's still hoping he can make a political comeback in lawrence. Another candidate. I should say is a well known activist in the city brian that he owns two small automotive businesses in lawrence and he served on the city council for a number of years. My understanding is the ben yet is actually expected to make it to second place. Second to andress vasquez To get into the general election in november and finally you have two female candidates running in vilma martinez dominguez endorsed rodriguez. They're both lesser known public. Servants trying to make a splash lawrence politics but that is going to be so interesting to watch. Let's let's leave lawrence now and let's travel over to north adams where four women are vying to be the city's first female mayor tesla but about that. Yes so mayor. Thomas bernard announced.

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