HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – History was made Tuesday night. Joshua Garcia will become the first Latino Mayor in the city of Holyoke once he is sworn in. He beat Michael Sullivan, who conceded 15 minutes after the polls closed at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night.
Garcia and his family celebrated at City Sports bar. Garcia was up against Holyoke City Councilor Michael Sullivan. He said Sullivan put up a great campaign. Garcia came into this race being the Town Administrator of Blandford and will take over for Acting Mayor Terry Murphy later this month.
22News spoke with Garcia shortly after he announced he was the winner of this race, “I think that more than me, it means a lot to a lot of people in our city. Certainly in my campaign trail, I did tell folks that first and foremost we are a Holyokers. Whether you are Puerto Rican, white, Irish, Black, Colombian, Dominican… we are a very diverse community and so I am very deeply committed to my neighbors from West Holyoke all the way to South Holyoke.”
“Well it’s it’s been a lot. It’s been a long haul. It’s been a year in the campaign trail. It’s the first time I’ve done something like this and I am just really proud the team we’ve got. I am proud of the job they did, I am very happy with the way everyone worked together,” said Sullivan.
It’s was a race for an open seat after longtime Mayor Alex Morse left office earlier this year to become town administrator in Provincetown and acting Mayor Terry Murphy is not running for a term of his own.
As for Garcia, he said he has a lot of work to do here in the city including getting the budget on track. He also mentioned the school system and adding jobs to the city. He will take office November 15.
There are also multiple contested City Council races in Holyoke, with four incumbent at-large councilors running for re-election. There will be at least two new councilors at-large, even in the event that all incumbents are re-elected, as Sullivan and Rebecca Lisi (who came in 3rd in the preliminary election) vacated their seats to run for mayor.
In addition to the four incumbents, there are seven other candidates running for the six at-large seats on the council. There are open seats for City Council in Wards 1 and 4, with incumbent councilors in Wards 3, 5, and 6 facing challengers. The only wards where there are no contested council races are Wards 2 and 7. On the School Committee side, there is a contested race for a single open seat on the School Committee at-large. There are also contested races for School Committee in Wards 4 and 7.
Polling hours in Holyoke were from: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.