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Newton voters re-elect Setti Warren to second term as mayor

Posted by Your Town  November 5, 2013 09:06 PM

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Newton Mayor Setti Warren swept into a second term on Tuesday, easily defeating challenger Ted Hess-Mahan in the city’s general election, according to unofficial results posted to the city’s website Tuesday night.

With all precincts reporting, Warren was leading by a margin of 72 to 28 percent.

“What I believe this vote says tonight is that our residents want this administration to continue the work that we started four years ago,” said Warren, 43, who watched the results come in with his family in his home before heading to Terry O’Reilly’s to celebrate with supporters. “I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Newton over the next four years.”

Hess-Mahan, 54, an attorney and longtime city lawmaker, said that despite his loss, he would continue to fight for the issues that matter to him.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” he said. “But I’m also very proud that I was able to get out some of the issues I felt needed to be discussed in this race, which would not have been discussed if it was not contested.”

During the campaign, Warren emphasized his success in stabilizing the city’s financials: in his first four years, he settled contracts with the city’s unions, eliminated the budget’s structural deficit, and passed an $11.4 million property tax override to build schools, fix aging facilities, and hire more police officers and teachers.

But Hess-Mahan, a former Warren supporter who campaigned early and hard for the mayor during the 2009 election, spent the campaign assailing his former ally’s leadership.

Hess-Mahan hit the mayor over his aborted 2011 Senate run, his affordable housing record, and his handling of turmoil within the police department, which led to the firing last year of Chief Matthew Cummings as well as lawsuits against the city in federal and state court filed by a department secretary claiming she was retaliated against for clashing with the chief.

Warren said the campaign gave him a good chance to get out and talk to voters, and that he looked forward to working with Hess-Mahan on economic development in the city. Hess-Mahan is the chair of the land use committee, and has been deeply involved in major developments such as the Station at Riverside and Chestnut Hill Square.

“The mayor and I had a good talk. He and I both agreed that we’d like to work together and collaborate. I’m going to go forward in that spirit,” said Hess-Mahan on Tuesday night. “It won’t stop me from fighting for the things I believe in, but I do see the value in continuing to work with the administration.”

During the campaign, Warren consistently out-fundraised and outspent his challenger by a wide margin, raising $40,165 toward his campaign between Jan. 1 and Oct. 18 and spending $44,826, while Hess-Mahan raised $11,364 and spent $4,709, according to campaign finance reports filed late last month. In the September preliminary election that knocked out two other candidates, Warren won 69 percent of the vote while Hess-Mahan won 22 percent.

In addition to the mayoral race, voters decided contested races on the School Committee and the Board of Aldermen.

Incumbents Brian Yates and Deborah Crossley rebuffed a challenge from Christopher Steele to win their Ward 5 Alderman-at-Large seats. Crossley secured 6,295 votes, Yates got 5,095 and Steele got 4,594.

Alison Leary beat out Allan Ciccone 770 votes to 478 votes for the Ward 1 Alderman seat; Emily Norton beat Eve Tapper 1,046 to 995 for Ward 2 Alderman.

Margaret Albright won the Ward 2 seat on the School Committee, beating Andrea Steenstrup with 5,093 votes to 4,571.

To view all election results, go here.

Evan Allen can be reached at

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