Tim Ryan, Jesse Lederman become newest members of Springfield City Council after Election Day victor
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SPRINGFIELD -- Former City Councilor Timothy Ryan made a triumphant return to the city's governing board Tuesday night with an election night victory along with newly elected member Jesse Lederman.
They joined the three victorious incumbents in the at-large race: Thomas Ashe, Justin Hurst and Kateri Walsh.
The five were chosen by voters citywide in a 10-candidate race for the five at-large seats.
Ryan said he was "relieved" and happy following his victory. He described himself as "relatively confident" ahead of the final results.
"I appreciate the vote," Ryan said, while celebrating with supporters at Red Rose in the South End. ""There are a lot of things that we have to work on in the city to really reinvigorate the city."
The final vote tally was Hurst 5,357, Ashe 5,036, Walsh 4,856, Lederman 4,434, Ryan 4,210, Tracye Whitfield 3,933, Kelli Moriarty-Finn 3,204, Victor Davila 2,588, Ernesto Cruz 2,538 and Jynai McDonald 2,266.
Turnout was 10,556 voters, or 9.9 percent of the city's 106,660 registered voters.
Ryan, who is the son of former Mayor Charles V. Ryan, returns to the council after a 14-year absence.
Lederman said he was "humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve."
"I look forward to making good on our pledge to be an open and accessible city councilor and to keep a focus on the neighborhood quality of life issues for our residents," Lederman said.
At least two new candidates were going to win election to the council this year because of two at-large members not seeking re-election. At-large Councilor Bud L. Williams was not seeking re-election after being elected as state representative in 2016, and at-large Councilor Timothy Rooke chose not to run again, saying he felt it was time to step down and allow for change.
Ashe won his sixth two-year term on the council. He previously served for eight years on the School Committee. He is the longtime chairman of the council's Public Safety Committee, and public safety has been been a key focus of his campaign.
Ashe stressed his his longtime alliance with Mayor Domenic J. Sarno on public safety, economic development and other issues.
Hurst, who serves as council vice president, was re-elected to his third two-year term.
For Hurst, it was a family victory, as as his wife Denise was winning re-election to the School Committee.
"It's an honor and a privilege," Hurst said after his first-place finish. "We never take anything for granted. We always grind, we always work hard and we always try to be the best," he said during a joint celebration at Palate Restaurant with his wife Denise Hurst, who was re-elected to the School Committee.
Hurst thanked the voters and said he will continue to make them proud.
"We could never have done this without you. We appreciate you," he said.
Hurst was the top finisher in the at-large council race in the Sept. 19 preliminary election, in a field of 13 candidates.
Walsh, in winning re-election, remains as only female member of the 13-member City Council.
Walsh has served on the City Council since 2004, and has stated that a top priority is improving the quality of life in Springfield.
Lederman, a community activist who conducted a door-to-door campaign and was highly visible at community events, had just missed winning a seat on the council in 2015, when he came in sixth place for the five at-large seats.
When Williams was elected state representative in the 11th Hampden District in November of 2016, formerly held by Rep. Benjamin Swan, he decided to also serve on the council in 2017, the final year of his two-year term rather than vacate the seat for Lederman, the next highest finisher.
Lederman was gathering with supporters Tuesday night at Nathan Bill's in East Forest Park.
Ryan, a local lawyer, had served five consecutive two-year terms on the council (1994-2003), before choosing not to seek re-election.
He said he decided to run again with his children now grown up and wanting to return to public service. He touted his council record and focus on the city's finances, and also noted his role as a member of the former citizen Police Commission.
Tracye Whitfield, a lifelong Springfield resident, was a first-time candidate, and had stressed her experience in advocating for safe neighborhoods and promoting workforce development.
Moriarty-Finn, a first-time candidate, is a native of Holyoke but moved to Springfield in 2002. She is senior project manager at Invesco, an investment management company.
Victor Davila's candidacy for an at-large seat included campaigning on the themes of being a "champion" of public safety and having a plan for reducing blight in neighborhoods. He also was an advocate for a high speed rail study.