Here's the breakdown:
Out of 5,472 votes (roughly a quarter of registered voters):
- Lisa Wong: 3,425 votes (63%)
- Tom Donnelly: 1,228 votes (22%)
- Ted DeSalvatore: 781 votes (14%)
- Ron Dionne: 36 votes (0.7%)
This result was a surprise to many people, and I'll admit I was one of them. While I did expect Wong and Donnelly to both get through the primary, I thought they'd be much closer than they turned out. I even thought Donnelly would probably be the winner, though certainly not by a huge margin. Lisa's landslide indeed caught me by surprise.
Why? Because I totally underestimated the intelligence of the voters. Sorry about that, voters!
Also, I obviously underestimated Lisa Wong herself. Sorry about that, Lisa Wong!
So why did Wong win by such a huge margin? Well, in retrospect it's not that hard to see. She's run a very effective campaign that focused on the right things, timed things beautifully, and presented the best ideas and vision for the city. If I didn't underestimate the intelligence of the voters (sorry again!), that alone should have told me that she'd run away with it.
Another thing that can't be discounted and I've heard mentioned multiple times is Wong's intelligence, which sadly is a rare commodity in politics. For example, here's a quote from the Fitchburg Pride:
"I was thinking that over the years, most of our mayors have not been very bright and sort of incompetent," said Chuck Bagg this morning. "I voted for Lisa Wong because she seems so much brighter than anyone who has been around in a while."Then there are the wider factors. Wong represents focused and intelligent change. Donnelly represents the status quo. DeSalvatore, of course, represented unfocused and unintelligent change. People want change, and they want change for the better.
That's really bad news for Donnelly, but he has a plan!
Donnelly said last night he heard the message for voters, and is ready to respond over the six weeks before the general election.Yes, he'll switch his focus from "I've been here forever" to "I'm for change too!" I don't expect that to go very well, since he's been all about the status quo for so long. I'm sure this isn't a good time to be Tom Donnelly, but at least he understands why he
"I am for change. I know people want change," Donnelly said. "I look forward to the challenge we have in the next few weeks."
Anyway, Wong's victory is a great sign for the future of Fitchburg. Congratulations to her, and way to go voters!