Briefings: Click-Bruce Slides into Ward 5 Seat in Springfield Electoral First…
SPRINGFIELD—In the first special City Council election in Springfield’s modern history, mayoral aide Lavar Click-Bruce has prevailed over retired labor leader Ed Collins. Three months ago, then-Ward 5 Councilor Marcus Williams resigned. Yet, rather than the rump of the Council filling the vacancy, city officials discovered Beacon Hill authorized the city to fill it via election.
Turnout was down compared to the preliminary last month according to unofficial results. The first round on August 16 saw seven contenders battle it out for the right to serve out the term. Click-Bruce led the pack with Collins not too far behind, leading to a monthlong sprint to the special general on Tuesday.
“On day one, I’m going to work hard on the City Council,” Click-Bruce said, addressing supporters. “On day one, I’m going to work hard for my community.”
Supporters of Click-Bruce gathered at Marlee’s Bar & Grill on Boston Road. Among city grandees in attendance were his boss Mayor Domenic Sarno, Council President Jesse Lederman, School Committee member LaTonia Naylor and State Representative Bud Williams.
Results from the city show Click-Bruce ahead 653 to 609. WMP&I called the race at 8:20PM. Click-Bruce declared victory at about quarter to nine. Lederman promised a quick swearing in.
In addition to serving in the mayor’s office, Councilor-elect Click-Bruce had worked in the Council office and for the Dunbar Community Center. During the campaign, he had said he would resign from the mayor’s office if he won. Speakers on Tuesday night alluded to these plans in their remarks.
Collins and Click-Bruce met in a couple of community and public access events. Issues debated included allocations of federal rescue funds but also infrastructure such as the condition of roads.
The general election was amazingly cordial in a city with vicious politics. Indeed, by contrast, the preliminary attracted outside weirdness that traced back to Marlborough.
“He ran a good clean race, which I appreciate,” Collins said, addressing Click-Bruce’s victory. At the councilor-elect’s invitation, Collins made brief remarks of support upon arriving at Marlee’s.
Click-Bruce thanked his family and laid out how he ended up in the race. He dismissed accusations that he was at all a tool of the mayor and that his bid was entirely of his own initiative. Supporters jeered the suggestion, but Click-Bruce insisted on clearing the record.
“I’m going to make sure we have resources and have access to city hall,” Click-Bruce said. “That’s the job, not to fight, not to bicker. My job is to work together for the greater good of the city of Springfield.”
Although wards in the city changed only slightly after the 2020 census, Tuesday’s poll was based on the old ward lines. The election in 2023 will use the new ward lines.