Correction: Due to a reporter’s error, an earlier version of this article misquoted City Councilor-at-Large Brian Field in reference to councilor term lengths. City councilors-at-large serve for two years. The Item regrets the error.
LYNN — The results of Tuesday’s preliminary elections gave a glimpse of how voters are feeling about the races for both city councilor-at-large and School Committee, which are set to take center stage during the general election this fall.
The preliminary elections essentially served as polls for those candidates, with no one eliminated from the field in either race. The only contested races on the ballot Tuesday were for the city councilors in Wards 1 and 4. Peter Meaney and Jeff Newhall emerged with the most votes in Ward 1, while Natasha Megie-Maddrey and Donna Coppola moved on to the general election in Ward 4.
In the city councilor-at-large race, incumbents Brian Field and Hong Net topped the ballot as the only two candidates to clear the 2,000-vote marker, with 2,029 and 2,022 votes, respectively.
Incumbent Brian LaPierre finished third with 1,955 votes, challenger Donald Castle came in behind him with 1,799, and incumbent Nicole McClain, who has held her seat since the death of City Council Vice President Buzzy Barton, finished with 1,494 votes.
Jose Encarnacion, Roger Garcia, and Richard Felton each finished with less than 1,000 votes, with 899, 891, and 455 votes, respectively.
“It was a good start,” Field, who is vying for his fourth term as councilor-at-large, said. “I think it’s a reflection of my job as a councilor, for people to trust me.”
Field said that compared to the ward races, of which only three are competitive this year, the councilor-at-large race is a battle every election.
“Every seat opens up every two years… Just because you’re an incumbent doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a spot,” Field said. “You have to earn it every single term.”
Field said he is hoping for a larger turnout in November, a sentiment echoed by Net.
“It was a pretty low turnout,” Net said. “Hopefully in November we can do better and get people out to vote more.”
Net, who has served on the council for six terms, said he believes his performance showed the trust the city has put in him based on his record so far.
“It’s a huge responsibility,” Net said. “I love the city. I want all of us to live in peace and prosperity.”
Voters will ultimately select four councilors-at-large on the November ballot.
On the School Committee, incumbent Lorraine Gately led the field with 2,034 votes. Newcomers Sean Reid and Andrea Satterwhite finished second and third, respectively, with Reid collecting 1,990 votes and Satterwhite getting 1,789. Gately was not the only incumbent who performed well Tuesday, as Brian Castellanos, Lenny Pena, and Eric Dugan filled out the top six, with 1,594, 1,591, and 1,348 votes, respectively.
“If I want to stay here in this position I have to work hard… I’m humbled by the vote,” Gately, who has served four terms on the committee, said.
Gately noted that Reid’s strong showing was one of the big takeaways she had from the results.
“He’s out there working and meeting people, ever since he decided he wanted to become a School Committee member,” Gately said. “It’s exciting to have new views.”
Reid is running for public office for the first time. He said he was humbled by his success in Tuesday’s election, but didn’t put too much stock in the preliminary results.
“I’ve been trying to model my campaign after how I’ll be as a School Committee member,” Reid said. “I’ve been out in the community, visible and accessible. I think people respond well to that and that’s something that people are looking for in a School Committee member.”
Tiffany Magnolia was the only incumbent not to crack 1,000 votes, finishing with 954, ahead of Sandra Lopez, Judith Wilson, Daniel Richard, Stacy Bryant-Brown, and Walquiria Leguisamon, who collected 911, 817, 804, 768, and 531 votes, respectively.
“A lot of people I thought would do better didn’t do as well,” Gately said.
Magnolia said she was surprised by the results, but looks forward to how things will shake out in the general election. She noted that she was happy to see such a large field of people bringing new ideas to the table and that she hopes new voices will be elected to the committee more often, rather than the same candidates every year.
“In Lynn, incumbents seem to have the edge,” Magnolia, who has served on the School Committee for one term, said. “I have stuck my neck out a lot more than most people do in their first term… That can help you or that can hinder you, I’m not going to decide yet until the general which one it has.”
Magnolia noted that even if she doesn’t get another term on the committee, she would continue the work to improve the schools.
“There’s some really important work to be done,” Magnolia said. “I want to do that work, regardless or not if I’m in office.”
Voters will ultimately select six school committee members on the November ballot.
A common theme among candidates was excitement for the two months of campaigning before election day on Nov. 7.
“It’s just getting started,” Reid said.
See the full results — including those in uncontested races — below:
LORRAINE GATELY 2,034
SEAN REID 1,990
ANDREA L. SATTERWHITE 1,789
BRIAN K. CASTELLANOS 1,594
LENNY PENA 1,591
ERIC C. DUGAN 1,348
TIFFANY JEAN MAGNOLIA 954
SANDRA M. LOPEZ 911
JUDITH WILSON 817
DANIEL M. RICHARD 804
STACY BRYANT-BROWN 768
WALQUIRIA LEGUISAMON 531
BRIAN M. FIELD 2,029
HONG L. NET 2,022
BRIAN P. LAPIERRE 1,955
DONALD J. CASTLE 1,799
NICOLE D. MCCLAIN 1,494
JOSE M. ENCARNACION 899
ROGER ROGELIO GARCIA 891
RICHARD L. FELTON 455
WARD 1 COUNCILLOR
DR. PETER MEANEY 480
JEFF NEWHALL 476
PAUL G. GOUTHRO 443
MICHAEL A. SATTERWHITE 412
TODD ALAN BACON 231
JENNIFER M. LONG 21
WARD 2 COUNCILOR
OBED A. MATUL 413
ELIZABETH FIGUEROA 209
WARD 3 COUNCILOR
COCO ALINSUG 353
WARD 4 COUNCILOR
NATASHA S. MEGIE-MADDREY 253
DONNA M. COPPOLA 189
CHRIS GOMEZ 84
WARD 5 COUNCILOR
DIANNA CHAKOUTIS 213
WARD 6 COUNCILOR
FRED W. HOGAN 195
WARD 7 COUNCILOR
JOHN JAY WALSH, JR. 314