State Rep. Tony (Antonio) Cabral lost the New Bedford mayoral bid Tuesday by a reported unofficial margin of 837 votes, to former federal prosecutor Jon Mitchell.
With 42 precincts reporting, Mitchell had won with 9,876 votes against Cabral with 9,039. Cabral was the front runner after the October primary election with 5,296 votes, opposed by Jon Mitchell with 4,787.
Jon Mitchell, 42, who has never run for elected office before, becomes the 38th mayor of New Bedford a city where 40 percent of residents say they are of Portuguese ancestry.
In a city of nearly 100,000 people, a little more than half (50,117) are registered voters. Of those, only 38% went to the polls Tuesday. Only 14,259 (28%) showed up to the polls on October 4th.
Mitchell has worked for the U.S. Justice Department for 11 years. He succeeds Mayor Scott Lang, who is leaving office after three terms. Mitchell’s two-year term will begin in January.
Tony Cabral, 56, a progressive, was born on the island of Pico, Azores. He came to the United States at the age of 14. A former school teacher, he was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1990 and currently serves as the chairman of the Finance Committee on Beacon Hill. He has won 10 straight elections to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Cabral has said he will remain a state representative if not elected mayor.