Forbes Re-Elected to Fifth Term as Ward 7 Alderman

In the sole contested race, incumbent Bill Forbes took home almost 77 percent of the vote in defeating Frank Murphy in the race for Ward 7 Alderman.

Editor's note: This article was updated at 9:42 p.m. with unofficial vote tallies from across the city.

Bill Forbes coasted to victory on Tuesday in his re-election bid for Ward 7 alderman, the sole contested race in the biennial city election this year, defeating challenger and first time general election candidate Frank Murphy.

Forbes received 330 votes to Murphy's 101, approximately 76.5 percent to 23.5. The victory secures Forbes' fifth term on the Melrose Board of Alderman as the representative from Ward 7.

"I'm happy with the results of course," Forbes said Tuesday night at the Hoover School, the Ward 7 polling location. "I have an awful lot of people who worked very, very hard and I appreciate that help."

Murphy and Forbes faced an unusual scenario compared to recent biennial city elections: No other contested races, no ballot questions and no coinciding state or federal elections, a situation that expectedly depressed voter turnout across the city.

Unofficial numbers provided by Melrose Election Administrator Linda-Lee Angilolillo had turnout for registered voters at 9.5 percent. In 2009's biennial city election, turnout was 17.5 percent, and in 2007, turnout was at 21 percent.

"I'm a little disappointed—I'd like to see more people come out—but it was a decent turnout," Murphy said at the Hoover School on Tuesday night. "I thought it was going to be a little bit better because I hit a lot of streets, but you know, he’s (Forbes) an incumbent, he did a good job and I give him all the credit in the world."

This was Murphy's first race in a general election; he previously stepped forward as a candidate for the as one of the city's four aldermen at-large.

Asked if he'd be interested in running again for city office, Murphy didn't hesitate.

"Absolutely—this isn't going to be my last race," he said. "I’m definitely going to look into it, do some homework. This is all a learning process. It’s a first time for me, I never ran before. Just to feel it out, see what’s going on, work on it again and see what happens."

Besides his work on the board, Forbes said he has another job to do.

"My job now is to convince the other 101 people who didn’t vote for me to vote for me next time—work harder for them," he said. "Just keep moving this city in a very positive direction, which is just outstanding. We’re special here in Melrose and we’d like to keep it that way. And I thank the voters of Ward 7 for their faith in me as alderman."

Unofficial Results

Below are unofficial results from the city's Election Office, including votes from Ward 7-Precinct 1, Ward 7-Precinct 2 and total votes. These numbers have not been verified yet.

Ward & Precinct 7-1 7-2

BLANKS 21 39   177 ROBERT J. DOLAN 171 196
1522 Write-ins 1 6
58 TOTAL 193 241


BLANKS 262 424   2503 JACLYN LAVENDER BIRD 131 142   1122 MARY BETH MCATEER-MARGOLIS 116 125   1121 RONALD SEABOYER 123 125   1045 DONALD L. CONN JR 139 148   1205 Write-ins 1 0   32 TOTAL 772 964   7028
        ALDERMAN WARD ONE         BLANKS 0 0   29 JOHN NICHOLAS TRAMONTOZZI 0 0   186 WRITE INS 0 0   3 TOTAL 0 0   218

ALDERMAN WARD TWO         BLANKS 0 0   39 MONICA C. MEDEIROS 0 0   220 Write-ins 0 0   12 TOTAL 0 0   271


BLANKS 0 0   21 FRANCIS WRIGHT 0 0   203 WRITE INS 0 0   1 TOTALS 0 0   225

    BLANKS 0 0   39 ROBERT A. BOISSELLE 0 0   138 Write-ins 0 0   5 Blanks 0 0   0 TOTAL 0 0   182           ALDERMAN WARD FIVE
      BLANKS 0 0   17 GAIL M. INFURNA 0 0   179 Write-ins 0 0   7 TOTAL 0 0   203


BLANKS 0 0   34 PETER D. MORTIMER 0 0   179 Write-ins 0 0   11 TOTAL 0 0   224  

ALDERMAN WARD SEVEN         BLANKS 0 1   1 WILLIAM H. FORBES   158 172   330 FRANCIS MURPHY 35 66   101 Write-ins 0 2     TOTAL 193 241   434


BLANKS 195 305   1822 DONALD CONSTANTINE 123 134   1092 MARGARET ER DRISCOLL 127 141   1185 KRISTIN B. THORP 131 128   1116 Write-ins 3 15   56 TOTAL 579 723   5271
Charles Christiansen November 09, 2011 at 01:56 PM
Congrats to Mr. Forbes and thank you to all the poll workers who probably had a fairly dull day but were all still friendly and upbeat when I came through during the later half of the day.
Amanda Kersey November 09, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Did most people expect Forbes to win by such a large margin, or were you surprised by the results?
Charles Christiansen November 09, 2011 at 03:55 PM
I expected it. There wasn't a huge discernible difference in the positions of the candidates and people seem generally satisfied with the city government's direction, so many felt no need for a change at this time. It's hard enough to unseat an incumbent when things aren't going well, so when they are, it's a really tough road.


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