Photo Gallery | 2016 Primary Election
PITTSFIELD — A battle-tested Tricia Farley-Bouvier moves onto November after winning a hard-fought campaign in Thursday's state primary.
The 3rd Berkshire District Representative held off a hard-charging Michael Bloomberg, 2687-2305 to capture the Democratic Party nomination and the right to face independent candidate and Pittsfield City Councilor Christopher Connell in the Nov. 8 general election. The district covers all but one of the city's 14 precincts as Ward 1B is part of the 2nd Berkshire District where Paul Mark is running unopposed.
Farley-Bouvier slowly, but surely, built a lead she never relinquished, sealing the deal by winning Wards 4 and 5 by a combined 248 votes.
Despite the verbal sparring during several political debates, the incumbent and challenger are expected to show a united front in trying to defeat Connell.
"Mike and I will combine forces to make sure we have a Democrat representing the 3rd Berkshire District," Farley-Bouvier said. "We have an excellent team and we'll start [on Friday]."
Bloomberg says he will be in Farley-Bouvier's political corner for the next two months as, after all, he is a Democrat.
"There's a 'D' next to my name for a reason," he said.
Farley-Bouvier is a five-year veteran state representative with 30 years of experience in the public and private sector helping the city grow such as being a Pittsfield city councilor and director of administration for former Mayor James Ruberto.
The first to announce his candidacy in January, Connell has had to take a back seat to the Democratic primary as no other challengers emerged. He has said the city needs someone to more effectively advocate for funding for infrastructure repairs and for the school system.
While Farley-Bouvier hopes to pull in the Bloomberg supporters, she knows Thursday's 20 percent voter turnout is just the tip of the electorate iceberg, especially since the race for the White House is at stake.
"It's really a different race on Nov. 8 with a different turnout," she said.
if anything, the primary, her first since winning 3rd Berkshire as an open seat in 2011, got people talking about the issues, according to Farley-Bouvier.
"The issues that were very concerning are the economy and opioid [addiction,]" she said.
Bloomberg's pounding the pavement and knocking on doors the past few months found many people wanting to revitalize the city, including the younger generation.
"The exciting part was meeting young people who started their own business in the city," he said at his post-election gathering. "What was once a tired city is showing signs of life."
Bloomberg hopes to be a part of the Pittsfield revival.
"What i want to do the rest of my life is urban revitalization," he added. "It's no secret the city is at a crossroads."
Meanwhile, Berkshire County was a big influence in the 8th District Governor's Council race between Mary Hurley and Jeff Morneau. Hurley carried the 32 cities and towns by nearly 4,000 votes, more than half the approximately 7,000-vote lead she had when the Associated Press called the race just after 10:30 p.m.
The two Springfield-area candidates were vying for the Democratic nomination, with Hurley essentially becoming the newest councilor as the political race lacks a Republican or third-party candidate in the Nov. 8 general election.
Hurley will succeed Michael Albano, who is stepping down after two terms dating back to 2012 to run for the Hampden County Sheriff's position.
The Governor's Council is an eight-person panel with the 8th District representing Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties and one town in Worcester County. The more high-profile duties included voting on gubernatorial appointments such as judges, clerk-magistrates, public administrators and members of the Parole Board.
Contact Dick Lindsay at 413-496-6233