Four lawmakers in position to compete for mayoral posts in November

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STATE HOUSE — Rep. Stephen DiNatale of Fitchburg on Tuesday became the third Beacon Hill lawmaker to top the ticket in a preliminary mayoral election this fall.

DiNatale’s success comes as four state lawmakers are looking to become chief municipal executives, forays that if successful could trigger a new wave of special legislative elections.

DiNatale’s preliminary victory, with more than two-thirds of the vote, comes days after Assistant Senate Minority Leader Robert Hedlund came out on top in the first round of Weymouth’s mayoral race.

Joining DiNatale on Nov. 3 general election ballot is Andrew Couture, who earned 564 votes to DiNatale’s 1,938. Miguel Fleitas Jr. and Stephen Sandrelli fell short with 316 and 47 votes respectively, according to the unofficial totals from the city clerk’s office. Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong is moving to Holyoke and not running for re-election.

In Weymouth, Hedlund finished well ahead of Mayor Susan Kay last Thursday, setting the two up to square off in November. Beating four other challengers, Hedlund took 55 percent of the vote to Kay’s 23 percent.

If Hedlund is elected mayor, a race to replace him would mark the first time in 20 years that the Plymouth and Norfolk Senate seat was open.

Rep. Michael Finn of West Springfield is facing off against Will Reichelt, the town attorney there, vying for the seat left open after Mayor Edward Sullivan decided against pursuing a second term. Former Mayor Gregory Neffinger, who Finn also defeated in a 2010 House race, was knocked out in a Sept. 8 preliminary.

Rep. Thomas Stanley is making a mayoral bid in Waltham, which is not holding a preliminary election this year and has two candidates on its general election ballot. Stanley, who also serves as a Waltham city councilor, is attempting to unseat Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, a former city solicitor seeking her fourth term in the city’s top office. A member of the House since 2001, Stanley is the son of former state representative and Waltham Mayor Bill Stanley.

Elections will be held on Nov. 3.

— Written by Katie Lannan

Copyright State House News Service