PITTSFIELD — Councilor at Large Melissa Mazzeo and incumbent Mayor Linda Tyer will go head-to-head in the city's mayoral race after a close preliminary election on Tuesday.
The election bumped Rusty Anchor owner Scott Graves and retired police officer Karen Kalinowsky from contention.
Competitions for wards 5 and 6 seats on City Council also winnowed to two — newcomer Patrick Kavey and former councilor Jonathan Lothrop will now vie in Ward 5, and in Ward 6 the last two candidates standing are Dina Guiel Lampiasi, who works as operations chief for the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, and former councilor Joseph Nichols.
Victors head to the general election Nov. 5.
In the mayor's race, Mazzeo was the top vote-getter by 289 votes; Mazzeo received 2,860 votes and Tyer received 2,571 votes. Graves garnered 343 votes, while Kalinowsky earned 281. The tallies are unofficial counts from City Hall.
Shortly after the early totals swung her way, Mazzeo told The Eagle she felt vindicated by the showing.
"We've been listening to the people and trying to vote with them in mind," she said. "And that's what the people wanted."
Tyer said she is pumped up for the battle ahead.
"We've got more fight in us," she said. "I think this is a contest between proven leadership and a record of accomplishments, and untested ideas."
Turnout for the city's first preliminary election since 2015 was higher, comparatively. Some 22 percent of the city's 27,893 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday, while the preliminary turnout in 2015 was 19 percent.
Turnout was slightly higher in Ward 6, home of the most hotly contested ward race, which saw a 24 percent turnout. Some 22 percent percent of the 4,044 registered voters in Ward 5 cast ballots, keeping pace with the citywide turnout total.
Kavey took Ward 5 by 53 votes. Lothrop came in second with a total of 356 votes, while Eugene Maselli trailed with 103 votes.
In Ward 6, Guiel Lampiasi came out on top with a total of 533 votes, followed by Nichols, who got 215 votes. Edward Carmel and Craig Gaetani, who earned 93 and 54 votes, respectively, have been bumped from the competition.
Opposing campaigns stood elbow to elbow outside the Berkshire Athenaeum earlier in the day, waving signs and earning honks from passersby.
Kavey and his volunteers danced for passing cars, sometimes falling into bouts of "Macarena."
"You gotta get people excited," Kavey said, smiling. "You gotta get people involved."
"Everyone here was very friendly," said Lothrop, whose face was red from standing in the sun for so long.
He said the day's civility was notable.
"No matter what, we all have to move forward," he said. "We all have to live in this community together."
Amanda Drane can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.