Portuguese American Journal

Tony Cabral leads mayoral race – New Bedford, MA

State Rep. Tony (Antonio) Cabral and Jon Mitchell, former federal prosecutor, finished Tuesday as the top two candidates and will move on to the November 8th New Bedford municipal election, when residents will also elect 11 city Councilors, three School Committee members and an assessor. Incumbent Scott Lang did not seek another term.

There were five candidates that qualified for the 2011 preliminary elections. The results were: Antonio Cabral (5,296); Jon Mitchell (4,787); Linda Morad (3,863); E. Michael Janson (171); Thomas Pina (78).

The 2011 New Bedford School Committee election results were: Thomas Clark (6,044); Marlene Pollock (5,281); Jill Marie Ussach (5,108); Joaquim Livramento (4,195);Erik Andrade (3,044); Guillermo Gonzalez (1,947); and Adrienne Wilkins (1,591).

Absenteeism was disappointing with only 28% voter turnout. There are 50,117 registered voters in New Bedford, but only 14,259 showed up to the polls on October 4th. Turnout was expected to be around 30%.

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.

About 40 percent of city residents say they are of Portuguese ancestry. Other ethnic groups include the Irish (8.2%), the Cape Verdean (10%), Hispanic (16%) and French-Canadian (14%). The population of New Bedford is estimated at 95,072, making the city the 6th largest in the state.

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