Boston voters oust Yancey, Murphy, add Campbell, George

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BOSTON — Charles Yancey, the longest-serving Boston city councilor, and veteran at-large member Stephen J. Murphy lost their seats to newcomers Andrea Campbell and Annissa Essaibi George in municipal elections on Tuesday that brought voters to the polls in the Hub and more than 50 other communities statewide.

Yancey, first elected in 1983, has often beat back challengers but this year his opponent showed early signs of strength, handily beating the 66-year-old District Four councilor as well as other candidates. Campbell defeated Yancey by a 3-2 margin, unofficial results show.

This year, the final polling was framed partly by the council’s vote last week to give itself a 14 percent pay hike, to almost $100,000 a year. While Yancey joined three other councilors to vote against the measure, he had earlier supported a salary hike, according to the Boston Herald.

Campbell, a 33-year-old lawyer who served in former Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, was critical of the pay increase, which has been a contentious issue since last year. Three other councilors, Tito Jackson of District Seven, Frank Baker of District Three and Timothy P. McCarthy of District Five all easily defeated their opponents even though all three voted for the pay increase, apparently unconcerned about their challengers.

Murphy, joined by fellow at-large councilor Michael F. Flaherty, voted for the salary increase. He was first elected to the council in 1997. Fellow at-large Councilors Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu were among those voting against it. With unofficial results in, Pressley and Wu finished first and second in the at-large voting, followed by Flaherty and George.

The salary measure will boost the annual pay for a councilor by $12,000 to $99,500. Council members haven’t had a salary hike since 2006. Based on federal inflation measures, they would need to earn just over $103,000 to maintain the same level of purchasing power as their paychecks had in 2006.

For George, it was her second bid for a council seat. She is a former city teacher and the owner of a small business on Dorchester Avenue in Dorchester, where she grew up. George, 41, narrowly missed winning a seat in 2013, finishing fifth, and has been outspoken in opposing the pay raise.

Council President Bill Linehan proposed a 29 percent, or $25,000 increase in September 2014. His plan was widely criticized as excessive, and the council ultimately voted for a $20,000 boost that Mayor Martin Walsh vetoed. After an advisory study, Walsh proposed a raise to $99,500. Linehan sought a boost to $105,000 but the council backed the mayor’s plan.

Walsh, who said he wouldn’t take the pay increase called for under the measure, doesn’t come up for re-election until 2017. Linehan, the District Two councilor, faced no opposition for reelection.

Jackson defeated Charles L. Clemons Jr., while Baker topped Donnie Palmer and McCarthy cruised past Jean-Claude Sanon.

While turnout in the preliminary voting was about 7 percent, the proportion climbed to almost 14 percent on Tuesday, according to City Hall figures. Out of 372,889 registered voters, 50,807 went to the polls, the figures show.