Backroom Deals, Vice-Mayor Bids Make Galluccio Mayor

Four switch votes to clinch council member's victory

For six weeks, Anthony D. Galluccio stayed stuck at two votes--his and that of Timothy P. Toomey, Jr.--in the Cambridge City Council's race to elect a mayor.

A Galluccio victory did not seem to be in the cards with Kathleen L. Born only one vote short of the needed five to be elected in the first two rounds of voting. Then, as acting mayor Kenneth E. Reeves '72 mounted a surprising bid to take the lead with three votes at 11 p.m. Monday night, a Galluccio win seemed even less likely.

But two and a half hours later, after receiving the additional votes of Jim Braude, Henrietta Davis, David P. Maher and Michael A. Sullivan, Galluccio was sworn in as the city's first mayor of the 21st century, putting a dramatic end on a whirlwind night of backroom politics where mayoral votes were exchanged for political ambitions.


First, Decker and Reeves--both unaffiliated progressives--switched their votes from Born to Reeves. In the next vote, Cambridge Civic Association (CCA) councillor Braude defected from CCA member Born to Reeves as well.

But Reeves' Valentine's Day soon turned sour. In the next few hours, as the council hammered out a final draft of a Linear Park down-zoning ordinance in North Cambridge, Galluccio, an Independent, persuaded CCA councillors Braude and Davis and Independents Maher and Sullivan to elect him mayor.

"I want to thank everyone who has stuck with me through thick and thin," Galluccio, a North Cambridge native, said in a 1:30 a.m. acceptance speech. "I will work tirelessly to make the city the best it can be."

Robert Winters, a longtime council observer and publisher of the online Cambridge Civic Journal, said Davis changed her vote for a prominent role in a Galluccio administration--but it was not meant to be.

According to the deal Davis and Galluccio made, Davis agreed to cross party lines and elect Galluccio as mayor in exchange for her own election as vice mayor.

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