Electing Lowell’s Mayor: 1966-2018

The first act of the incoming Lowell City Council at tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony will be to elect the city’s next mayor. The process involves each councilor when called upon announcing his or her candidate for mayor. The first councilor to receive five votes becomes mayor.

Here are brief sketches of past mayoral elections from  1966 to 2018:

1966 – Edward Early – On Monday, January 3. 1966, Edward Early was elected mayor unanimously on the first ballot. Councilors that term were Sam Pollard, Bob Maguire, John Cox, Richard Howe, Tom Crowley, Ed Early, George O’Meara, Ray Gilbride, Tom O’Donnell.

1968 – Robert Maguire – On Tuesday, January 2, 1968, Robert Maguire was elected mayor on the first ballot by a 6 to 3 vote. Maguire’s votes were from John Cox, Raymond Gilbridge, Armand LeMay, Samuel Pollard, Ellen Sampson and Maguire. Voting for Thomas Crowley were Edward Early, Richard Howe, and Crowley.

1970 – Richard Howe – On Monday, January 5, 1970, Richard Howe was elected mayor on the fifth ballot receiving the votes of Leo Farley, Phil Shea, Brendan Fleming, Paul Tsongas and himself. Armand LeMay received the votes of John Mahoney and Sam Pollard. Ellen Sampson voted for herself.

1972 – Ellen Sampson – On Thursday, January 6, 1972, Ellen Sampson was elected mayor on the 106th ballot. On inauguration day (Monday, January 3, 1972), Paul Tsongas and Phil Shea were the leading contenders but neither could get the necessary 5th vote. After 15 ballots at the inauguration, the council voted to recess and resume the voting at the next evening’s regularly scheduled council meeting. During the 51 ballots cast that night (Tuesday, January 4, 1972), Shea, Tsongas and Richard Howe all received 4 votes on various ballots but none could reach 5. Another recess was held and two nights later  (Thursday, January 6, 1972) after 40 more ballots that night, Phil Shea announced he was withdrawing his candidacy and would vote for Sampson who was elected on the next ballot. On that decisive 106th ballot, Sampson received votes from Leo Farley, Charles Gallagher, Robert Kennedy, Shea and herself. Paul Tsongas received votes from Richard Howe, Gail Dunfey, Brendan Fleming and himself.

1974 – Armand LeMay – On Monday, January 7, 1974, Armand LeMay was elected mayor on the first ballot with 5 votes to Leo Farley’s 4. Voting for LeMay were Brian Delaney, Richard Howe, Robert Maguire, Robert Kennedy and LeMay. Voting for Leo Farley were Victor Forsley, Charles Gallagher, John Slavin and Farley.

1976 – Leo Farley – On Monday, January 5, 1976, Leo Farley was elected mayor on the third ballot with 5 votes to Richard P. Howe’s 4. Voting for Farley were Brian Delaney, Samuel Pollard, Brendan Fleming, Donald Scott and Farley. (Scott had voted for himself on the first two ballots then switched to Farley). Richard Howe received votes from himself, George Anthes, Armand LeMay and Wayne Peters.

1978 – Raymond Rourke – On Monday, January 2, 1978, Raymond Rourke was elected mayor on the third ballot. On the first ballot, Samuel Pollard had four votes, Rourke had three and Wayne Peters had two. Voting for Pollard were himself, Robert Maguire, Edward Kennedy and Armand LeMay. Voting for Rourke were himself, Brian Delaney and Raymond Lord. Voting for Peters were himself and Richard Howe. The same votes were cast on the second ballot. However, on the third ballot, Robert Maguire and Edward Kennedy switched to Rourke, giving him the necessary five votes (Rourke, Delaney, Lord, Maguire and Kennedy). Although he had previously served as a state representative for many years, this was Rourke’s first term on the council, making him the only mayor from 1966 to the present who was elected in his first term on the council.

1980 – Robert Maguire – On Monday, January 7, 1980, Robert Maguire won his second term as mayor on the third ballot by a five to four vote. On the first ballot, Samuel Pollard had the votes of Maguire, Richard Howe, Armand LeMay and himself. Robert Kennedy had his own vote and those of Raymond Rourke and Thomas Casey. Raymond Lord voted for Armand LeMay and Brendan Fleming voted for himself. On the second ballot, Maguire voted for himself and all the other votes stayed the same. On the third ballot, Lord, LeMay, Rourke, and Casey all switched to Maguire, giving him five votes. Pollard retained Howe’s vote and added Kennedy. Fleming voted for himself throughout.

1982 – Brendan Fleming – On Monday, January 4, 1982, Brendan Fleming was elected mayor unanimously on the first ballot. Councilors that term were Richard Howe, Armand LeMay, Brendan Fleming, Bob Maguire, Gus Coutu, Brian Martin, Dick O’Malley, George Anthes, Ed Kennedy

1984 – Brian Martin – In January 1984, Brian Martin was elected mayor by a five to four vote on the 10th ballot. For the first three ballots, there was a three-way tie between Martin, Richard Howe and Gus Coutu. Voting for Martin were Brendan Fleming, Richard O’Malley and Martin. Voting for Howe were Robert Kennedy, Armand LeMay and Howe. Voting for Coutu were Raymond Rourke, Edward Kennedy and Coutu. On the fourth ballot, Coutu, Rourke and Ed Kennedy all switched to Ed Kennedy. On the seventh ballot, they switched to Rourke. On the ninth ballot, LeMay switched to Martin, giving him four votes. On the tenth ballot, Robert Kennedy switched to Martin, giving him five votes—Brendan Fleming, Richard O’Malley, Armand LeMay, Robert Kennedy and Martin.

1986 – Robert Kennedy – On Monday, January 5, 1986, Robert Kennedy was elected mayor on the first ballot receiving votes from himself, Brian Martin, Dick O’Malley, Armand LeMay and Richard Howe. Gus Coutu received votes from himself, Kathy Kelley, Ray Rourke and Brendan Fleming.

1988 – Richard Howe – On Monday, January 4, 1988, Richard Howe was elected mayor on the first ballot by a unanimous vote. Councilors that term were Richard Howe, Brian Martin, Tarsy Poulios, Joe Fitzpatrick, Bud Caulfield, Bob Kennedy, Gerry Durkin, Curtis LeMay, Brendan Fleming

1990 – Richard Howe – On Tuesday, January 2, 1990, Richard Howe was elected to his third term as mayor on the first ballot by a 6 to 3 vote, receiving support from Bud Caulfield, Robert Kennedy, Kathy Kelley, Curtis LeMay, Ray Rourke and himself. Tarsy Poulios received three votes: his own and those of Gerry Durkin and Brendan Fleming.

1992 – Tarsy Poulios – On Monday, January 6, 1992, Tarsy Poulios was elected mayor on the second ballot. On the first ballot, he had received four votes – his own and those of Gerry Durkin, Curtis LeMay and Bernie Lemoine. Bud Caulfield had two first ballot votes, his own and Richard Howe’s; Kathy Kelley had her own and Dick O’Malley’s; and Bob Kennedy voted for himself. On the second ballot, Kennedy voted for Poulios, giving him five and the mayoralty.

1994 – Richard Howe – On Monday, January 3, 1994, Richard Howe was elected to his fourth term as mayor on an 8 to 1 first ballot vote. Howe received votes from himself, Bud Caulfield, Laurie Machado, Larry Martin, Matt Donahue, Mike Geary, Steve Gendron and Grady Mulligan. Tarsy Poulios voted for Caulfield.

1996 – Bud Caulfield – On Tuesday, January 2, 1996, Bud Caulfield was elected mayor on the first ballot by a 5 to 4 vote. Caulfield received votes from himself, Richard Howe, Grady Mulligan, Rita Mercier and Larry Martin. Steve Gendron received his own vote plus those of Matt Donahue, Eileen Donoghue and Peter Richards.

1998 – Eileen Donoghue – On Monday, January 5, 1998, Eileen Donoghue elected unanimously on the first ballot. Councilors that term were Rita Mercier, Bud Caulfield, Eileen Donoghue, Richard Howe, Grady Mulligan, Peter Richards, Rodney Elliott, Armand Mercier, Dan Leahy

2000 – Eileen Donoghue – On Monday, January 3, 2000, Eileen Donoghue was elected to her second term as mayor unanimously on the first ballot. Councilors that term were Rita Mercier, Eileen Donoghue, Dan Tenczar, Bud Caulfield, Armand Mercier, Rithy Uong, Richard Howe, Bill Martin, Rodney Elliott

2002 – Rita Mercier – On Monday, January 7, 2002, Rita Mercier was elected mayor unanimously on the first ballot. Councilors that term were Rita Mercier, Eileen Donoghue, Bud Caulfield, Richard Howe, Armand Mercier, Rodney Elliott, Bill Martin, Rithy Uong, Dan Tenczar.

2004 – Armand Mercier – On Tuesday, January 6, 2004, Armand Mercier was elected unanimously on the first ballot. Councilors that term were Rita Mercier, Eileen Donoghue, Jim Milinazzo, Bud Caulfield, Armand Mercier, Richard Howe, Bill Martin, Rodney Elliott, Rithy Uong

2006 – Bill Martin – On Tuesday, January 3, 2006, William Martin was elected mayor on a five to four vote. He received votes from Eileen Donoghue, Jim Milinazzo, Armand Mercier, George Ramirez, and himself. Rodney Elliot received his own vote plus those of Kevin Broderick, Bud Caulfield, and Rita Mercier.

2008 – Bud Caulfield – On Monday, January 7, 2008, Edward “Bud” Caulfield was elected to his second term as mayor unanimously on first ballot. Councilors that term were Rita Mercier, Bud Caulfield, Bill Martin, Alan Kazanjian, Armand Mercier, Kevin Broderick, Rodney Elliott, Mike Lenzi, Jim Milinazzo

2010 – Jim Milinazzo – On Monday, January 4, 2010, James Milinazzo was elected mayor unanimously on the first ballot. Councilors that term were Rita Mercier, Bud Caulfield, Franky Descoteaux, Kevin Broderick, Jim Milinazzo, Bill Martin, Joe Mendonca, Patrick Murphy, Rodney Elliott

2012 – Patrick Murphy – On Tuesday, January 3, 2012, elected mayor on the first ballot by a 5 to 4 vote.  Murphy received votes from himself, Kevin Broderick, Marty Lorrey, Bill Martin and Vesna Nuon.  Rodney Elliott received his own vote plus those of Rita Mercier, Ed Kennedy and Joe Mendonca.

2014 – Rodney Elliott – On Monday, January 6, 2014, elected mayor unanimously on first ballot. On the council this term were Rita Mercier, Rodney Elliott, Edward Kennedy, Dan Rourke, Jim Milinazzo, Bill Samaras, Corey Belanger, Bill Martin and John Leahy.

2016 – Edward Kennedy – On Monday, January 4, 2016, elected mayor unanimously on first ballot. Councilors that term were Rita Mercier, Rodney Elliott, Edward Kennedy, John Leahy, William Samaras, James Milinazzo, Daniel Rourke and Corey Belanger. Jim Leary.

2018 – William Samaras – On Tuesday, January 2, 2018, William Samaras was elected mayor on the first ballot by a 5 to 4 vote. Samaras received votes from Karen Cirillo, Ed Kennedy, Jim Milinazzo, Vesna Nuon and himself. Voting for John Leahy were David Conway, Rodney Elliott, Rita Mercier and Leahy.

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