NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Jon Mitchell secured his sixth consecutive term in office Tuesday night — defeating challenger Tyson Moultrie for the second time.
Mitchell earned 5,272 votes, or about 64%; Moultrie earned 2,719 votes, according to preliminary results released Tuesday night. They had also faced off during the 2019 election, when Mitchell secured around 72% of the votes.
“I’m very grateful for the support I received from our residents,” said Mitchell during an election-night celebration at La Raza in the North End. “They can count on me to continue to work hard to make our city a better place to live.”
Moultrie waited at City Hall inside a packed election office for the results.
“It was an improvement over last election, and I think that says something,” said Moultrie minutes after the results were read out. “I think it says that New Bedford is ready for change. It’s not quite at the tipping point, but it’s getting there, so in another four years, we’ll see what happens.”
The candidates stopped at Hathaway Elementary School Tuesday morning. There, Mitchell cast his ballot with his wife, Ann Partridge. Moultrie, who voted early, was there to thank the election volunteers for their work.
Both candidates called attention to the issue of low voter turnout in New Bedford. According to preliminary results, the turnout for Tuesday’s election was 13.15% of the city’s registered voters. During the preliminary election in October, which had only 6% turnout, Mitchell received 2,544 votes and Moultrie 357, The Light reported.
By late morning Tuesday, only 125 people (including early votes) had voted at the Hathaway Elementary precinct, which has 1,200 registered voters.
Now re-elected, Mitchell has a mandate to continue with his priorities. In an October Q&A with The Light, the mayor highlighted the importance of investing in housing, the police department, schools and the port — a city asset that remains the highest-value fishing port in the country and is becoming a hub for offshore wind alongside the longtime fishing industry.
This will be Mitchell’s second four-year term and the start of his 13th year in office. He also won four two-year terms before voters approved a change in the length of the mayor’s term. He has served as mayor since 2012.
“Our city has improved greatly on all the important measures: public safety, education, economic development. We’re doing very well,” Mitchell said Tuesday night. “I think we can do better still, and that’s my pledge: it’s to do everything I can to help make us a stronger and more vibrant city.”
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