Last night I wrote about Lowell City Council inaugurations from 1966, 1970, 1990, 1992 and 1994. While the day should be a happy one for all involved, more often than not the election of the city’s mayor, which is the first act of the council after taking the oath of office, has been contentious or at least hurtful to some, at least (which also makes such contests forever interesting to those of us who follow the city’s political history). Here are some more inauguration day reports:
1968 – Bob Maguire was elected mayor on the first ballot with 6 votes to 3 for Tom Crowley. Maguire lost in the next election but returned to the council later in the 1970s and was elected to a second term as mayor in 1980.
1972 – Ellen Sampson was elected mayor on the 106th ballot. On inauguration day, 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, Shea, Tsongas and Councilor Richard P Howe all received 4 votes on various ballots but none could reach 5. Another recess was held and two nights later after 40 more ballots, Phil Shea announced he was withdrawing his candidacy and would vote for Sampson was was elected on the next ballot.
1974 – Armand LeMay was elected mayor on the first ballot with 5 votes to Leo Farley’s 4. LeMay, who had been defeated in 1971 after serving two terms, returned to top the ticket in the 1973 election.
1976 – Leo Farley was elected mayor on the third ballot with 5 votes to Richard P. Howe’s 4. Howe had received 4 votes throughout the balloting but could not secure a fifth vote. Farley won when first-term councilor Donald Scott, who had been voting for himself, switched his vote to Farley.
1978 – Ray Rourke was elected mayor on the third ballot when Bob Maguire switched his vote from Sam Pollard to Rourke. Although Rourke had only just been elected to the city council, he had previously been a long-time state legislature.
1980 – Bob Maguire was elected mayor on the third ballot, defeating Sam Pollard who had received Maguire’s vote on the first ballot.
1982 – Brendan Fleming was elected mayor on the first ballot
1984 – Brian Martin was elected mayor on the tenth ballot. At age 33, he was the youngest mayor in the city’s history (until now????).
1986 (Monday, January 6) – Bob 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 (Monday, January 4) – Richard P. Howe was elected mayor on the first ballot by a unanimous vote.
1996 (Tuesday, January 2) – Bud Caulfield was elected mayor on the first ballot by a 5 to 4 vote. Caulfield received votes from himself, Richard P Howe, Grady Mulligan, Rita Mercier and Larry Martin. Steve Gendron received his own vote plus those of Matt Donahue, Eileen Donoghue and Peter Richards.