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Preliminary Vote Count Shows Six Incumbents Re-Elected to City Council

Cambridge residents took to polling stations on Tuesday to vote for candidates running for City Council.
Cambridge residents took to polling stations on Tuesday to vote for candidates running for City Council. By Casey M. Allen
By Nicholas W. Sundberg and Lucy Wang, Crimson Staff Writers

A preliminary vote count shows Cambridge electing six incumbents and three new officials to City Council, though the final result could still change as the Cambridge Election Commission counts write-in and auxiliary ballots.

In the initial tally, every incumbent who ran—E. Denise Simmons, Marc C. McGovern, Jan Devereux, Timothy J. Toomey, Dennis J. Carlone, and Craig A. Kelley—was re-elected in a field of 26 candidates. Three new councillors, Sumbul Siddiqui, Quinton Zondervan, and Alanna Marie Mallon, are poised to fill spots left by Councillors who will step down at the end of their terms.

But Kelley’s margin of victory was so small that votes from write-in and auxiliary ballots could still elect close runner-up Sean Tierney in his stead. Absentee ballots and provisional ballots will be counted on Nov. 17.

Technical snafus hindered the vote count process on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. The computerized tabulation process the Cambridge Election Commission has used since 1997 broke down, delaying preliminary results by hours as election officials counted paper ballots.

Still, the candidates with wide enough margins of victory to consider themselves Cambridge City Councillors did not seem to mind.

“It took awhile, and it took some extra suspense, but I’m excited and honored and grateful,” Zondervan said.

An unusually large number of voters turned out in this year’s election. According to early data from the Election Commission, 21,412 valid ballots were turned in this year, a 20 percent increase over the 17,854 votes cast in the 2011 municipal election.

Nadeem A. Mazen, an outgoing City Councillor who recently launched a bid for a seat in Congress, praised the candidates and the overall tenor of the campaign.

“Over the past few days though, especially in the last 72 hours, a lot of the negativity around the campaign has dissipated,” he said.

Voters in Cambridge also elected five incumbents—Patricia M. Nolan ’80, Manikka L. Bowman, Emily R. Dexter, Alfred B. Fantini, and Kathleen M. Kelly—and one new candidate, Lawrence Kimbrough, to the city’s school committee.

Among those who came up short on election night were two Harvard undergraduates. Nadya T. Okamoto ’20, who launched her campaign for City Council as a freshman, lost her election, as did William H. MacArthur ’20, who ran for School Committee.

—Staff writer Nicholas W Sundberg can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @NickWSundberg.

— Staff writer Lucy Wang can be reached at

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