Our Opinion: Newcomer, veteran win in North County

North Adams has a new face as mayor and the 1st Berkshire District has a familiar face as state representative following elections on Tuesday.

Tom Bernard, who defeated Robert Moulton in the first North Adams mayoral race without an incumbent in three decades, has his work cut out for him but appears ready for the challenge. Mr. Bernard has government experience inside and outside the city, strong links to Mass MoCA and MCLA, and brought an optimistic approach to the campaign trail that combined with his experience should serve the city well as it seeks to improve its economic base and keep and attract young people.

John Barrett III, the new state representative following the special election to fill the seat of the late Gailanne Cariddi, long held the seat that Mr. Bernard will take over in January. Mr. Barrett, who defeated Republican Christine Canning, is an unusual first-time state legislator given his long experience in government and politics. North Adams, Williamstown and the small towns comprising the 1st Berkshire District should benefit from that experience.

In the Pittsfield City Council races, all of the incumbents were returned along with two newcomers. Two more first-timers fell short of winning election but impressed with their performances.

At-large incumbents Peter Marchetti, Peter White and Melissa Mazzeo were all re-elected, with Mr. Marchetti the top vote-getter in the city. That should enable him to return as City Council president, where he has demonstrated fairness and when necessary a firm hand.

Earl Persip III won the fourth at-large spot with a solid performance in his first bid for electoral office. A familiar presence on the WestSide and in the city, particularly in working with youth groups, Mr. Persip is well-prepared for elective office.

Incumbents Kevin Morandi (Ward 2), Nicholas Caccamo (Ward 3), Chris Connell (Ward 4), Donna Todd Rivers (Ward 5), John Krol (Ward 6) and Anthony Simonelli (Ward 7) were all returned to office. In Ward 1, where there was no incumbent, Helen Moon won decisively after her opponent, Michael Cirullo dropped out, and she should bring a fresh and youthful perspective to the City Council.

Dina Guiel, who lost a tight race to an entrenched incumbent in Ward 2, and William Wright who did well in Ward 4, ran aggressive campaigns in their first bids for city office. They were both active in city affairs leading up to their election bids and we are confident they will continue to be involved following their strong showings Tuesday.


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