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District 9 City Council preliminary election: Ciommo, Bowser move on to general election


Members of the Boston City Council sit for a meeting on April 24 at Boston City Hall to discuss the budget for the 2018 fiscal year. PHOTO BY LEXI PLINE/ DFP FILE PHOTO

Boston City Council incumbent Mark Ciommo and candidate Brandon Bowser won the preliminary elections for the District 9 councilor seat, which covers the Allston-Brighton area, on Tuesday night.

Ciommo and Bowser ran against Alex Golonka in one of four preliminary City Council elections across Boston on Tuesday. Districts 1, 2, 7 and 9 all held preliminary elections to narrow races down to two candidates — the remaining districts either had only two candidates or remained uncontested.

Out of over 3500 votes, Ciommo held the majority vote with almost 59 percent of the votes, while Bowser trailed behind Ciommo at around 23 percent, according to the official results. Golonka was left behind with over 17 percent of the vote.

A teacher in the area, Bowser ran his campaign to fight for affordable housing, to preserve Allston-Brighton as a cultural art hub and to secure safe and sustainable transportation, according to his website.

Bowser said in an interview with The Daily Free Press that heading into the Nov. 7 elections, he is going to fight for the votes he didn’t receive on Tuesday. He said most importantly, he is reaching out to younger voters and incorporating them into the mix.

“It’s a really awesome moment and it’s great to have an intergenerational campaign,” Bowser said. “I love young college folks, recent high school graduates, all the way up to people who have spent their entire lives in the district, working together to create a plan for our neighborhood.”

Incumbent candidate Ciommo, District 9 City Councilor since 2007, was unavailable for comment.

Golonka said in an interview with The Daily Free Press that despite his loss, he plans on continuing the fight he began with his campaign.

“We gathered a lot of people around a common cause and that we’re just going to try to take it forward from there to try to wake people up,” Golonka said. “The fact that we were able to mobilize that many people, imagine what else we could mobilize it around?”

Several Boston voters came out to the Jackson Mann School polling location in Allston to cast their ballots for the candidates.

Dan Farbowitz, 30, of Allston, said he voted for Bowser because he knows he will be a good representative.

“He’s a teacher here, he’s lived here for a part of his life so he knows it intimately,” Farbowitz said. “I think he knows what needs to be done.”

Shannon Weber, 30, of Allston, said she voted for Golonka as she related to his platform.

“Alex Golonka was advertising himself as the working class candidate, which … as someone who comes from a working class background, [I] appreciate that also because I’m really concerned about the housing crisis in the city and I don’t want to get priced out of the city in the next year or so,” Weber said.

Several voters at the Boston Green Academy site in Brighton expressed the importance of voting in local elections.

Daniel Doherty, 29, of Brighton, said although he has no problem with Ciommo, he voted for Golonka to support the opposition and to make a change in the Boston area.

“It’s really hard to ask for change if you don’t show up to vote and I think municipal elections are typically more impactful than state and federal elections,” Doherty said.

Larry Manning, 61, of Brighton, said he believes his vote has a greater influence on the local level than on the national stage.

“My vote goes a lot farther, if you voted in the presidential election, the democrats are probably going to win here and everything,” Manning said. “You still get to vote anyway, but your vote carries a lot more weight.”

Brianna Smith, 27, of Allston, said voting for elected officials is important because they will be the ones to talk about issues like the housing crisis.

“The reality of it is Boston’s in a housing crisis and there is no affordable housing and I’m … a working professional [and] I cannot afford to live here on a pretty decent salary,” Smith said. “I think that we need more people who are gonna speak up for that, and pay attention to who your City Council people are gonna be.”

Caroline Smith and Hannah Rogers contributed to the reporting of this article.

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