Tonight while I was working I was watching the Boston City Council election returns come in electronically on the city's Web site - City of Boston/Elections - much faster than days of yore. Welcome the optical scanning machines!
All incumbents won reelection, with Michael Flaherty coming in first and Felix Arroyo a surprising second place. Arroyo placed fifth in the preliminary but was bouyed by endorsements from Flaherty and Mayor Tom Menino.
A pathetic 24.6 percent of registered voters cast votes and on average, each voter cast 1.3 votes out of four. This means there was a lot of bullet voting. Maura Hennigan came in third and Stephen Murphy came in fourth. Patricia White - despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars - came in fifth, over 800 votes down. Matt O'Malley, the 24-year-old from West Roxbury, came in sixth and black transsexual Althea Garrison came in seventh with almost 11,000 votes. Pastor Roy Owens rounded out the field.
District 4 Councilor Charles Yancey, who entered his third decade of representing the black community, fended off a challenge from a young buck from Rep. Mike Capuano's office. And Mission Hill activist Carmen Torres was defeated by Mike "don't get between me and a Nikon" Ross.
In Somerville, a new era has begun: The Curtatone era. Alderman Joe Curtatone, the friend of developers everywhere, beat immigrant Tony LaFuente by almost 700 votes. LaFuente did beat Curtatone in Ward 6. In the Alderman's race, Denise Provost topped the ticket, with incumbents Bruce Desmond and Bill White also returning. Newcomer Dennis Sullivan also won a seat. Political bombthrower Frank Bakey, unfortunately, didn't.
Fringe candidates ...
Yesterday was the first day to file in the presidential primary in N.H. Here is the coverage from the Monitor this morning: ["On the fringe, there's fleeting fame"].