LYNN — City Council Chambers erupted in cheers as Nicole McClain was sworn in as city councilor-at-large on Tuesday evening. McClain filled the seat of late Councilor-at-Large Gordon “Buzzy” Barton, who passed away April 5.
“I am not here for myself, I am here because those that voted in 2021 have faith that I will represent them well,” McClain said after she was sworn in. “I take that faith very seriously and I intend to be accessible, I intend to keep Lynn residents informed of the decisions being made that affect us all.”
McClain, who is the North Shore Juneteenth Association president and founder, ran for a councilor-at-large seat in November 2021. Four positions were available in that election; she came in fifth, receiving 3,964 votes.
According to the Lynn City Charter, if a vacancy occurs less than 18 months after the beginning of a councilor-at-large’s term, it must be filled by the losing candidate who earned the most votes in the previous election, provided they accept the appointment.
“I never expected the hard work put into the campaign during 2021 to be acknowledged in this way,” McClain said.
City Council President Jay Walsh said that McClain’s swearing-in is a big moment, as she is the first woman of color to be on City Council.
During her speech, she gave her condolences to the Barton family. She said it was “evident” how important Barton was to the city by the way the community mourned.
In an interview with The Daily Item on April 6, she said that as a racial justice advocate, she would be honored and humbled to carry on the Barton family’s legacy. McClain said that she is ready to serve all Lynn residents and follow in the late councilor’s footsteps.
“Finishing out his term is humbling,” McClain said in her speech.
She also announced Tuesday that she will be seeking reelection for a councilor-at-large seat this November.
“Thank you all for your genuine support and I look forward to working with the current council members to add to the great work that is already being done to improve our city,” McClain said.