BOSTON – Martin J. Walsh, who grew up as the son of Irish immigrants in a triple-decker in Dorchester, will be the next mayor of Boston. Buoyed by his support from organized labor, Walsh, 46, a state representative, defeated City Councilman John R. Connolly, 40, Tuesday in a hard-fought but relatively civil race that went down to the wire.
Both candidates are progressive Democrats who faced off in a nonpartisan election to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the city’s longest-serving mayor, who chose not to seek an unprecedented sixth term after being slowed by various health problems.
In Detroit, former hospital chief, prosecutor and political pit bull Mike Duggan, who campaigned as the candidate most capable of leading Detroit back from the brink, defeated Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon in Tuesday’s election for Detroit mayor, the Detroit Free Press projected.
There were several notable ballot issues and elective posts at stake around the country.
Alabama – Bradley Byrne won the Republican runoff in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.
With 91 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, Byrne had about 53 percent of the vote; Dean Young garnered roughly 47 percent.
The Republican primary presented a classic clash between the two sides of the Republican Party. Byrne was the establishment candidate, drawing support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and two men who held the 1st District office, Jo Bonner and Jack Edwards. Young ran as an outsider, aligning himself with the tea party and drawing praise from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Byrne advances to the general election Dec. 17 against the Democratic nominee, Mobile real estate agent Burton Leflore.
Leflore has raised little money in a district that has voted Republican since 1964.
Denver – Voters approved a 25 percent tax on newly legal recreational marijuana to fund school construction. Opponents argued the tax rate would benefit black market sales.
Houston – Voters rejected a plan to authorize bonds to turn the Houston Astrodome, the world’s first multipurpose domed stadium, into a giant convention and event center and exhibition space. The outcome means the stadium is likely to be torn down.
Maine – Voters in Portland, Maine’s largest city, declared victory on a measure to legalize possession of recreational amounts of marijuana.
Minnesota – Minneapolis City Council member Betsy Hodges, a fiscal hawk hoping to make the jump to mayor of Minnesota’s largest city, took a commanding lead in a crowded race not expected to be decided for at least another day.
New Jersey – Voters approved a constitutional amendment raising the state’s minimum wage by $1, to $8.25 an hour, and to provide for automatic cost-of-living increases, as 10 other states already do.
Maine – Residents of South Portland rejected a proposal aimed at blocking the flow of tar sands oil from western Canada to the city.
Environmentalists say the thick, gooey oil is more difficult to clean up than conventional crude oil, contains harmful chemicals and releases more greenhouse gases. Supporters say a ban would hamper the growth of existing petroleum-based businesses.