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November 7, 2013

A landslide victory in South Lawrence West wins it for Rivera

LAWRENCE — Daniel Rivera won Tuesday by turning out an avalanche of voters in his South Lawrence strongholds, swamping the slimmer margins and lighter turnouts Mayor William Lantigua’s legendary get-out-the-vote operation was producing in his own strongholds across the river, numbers released yesterday show.

For Rivera, the race was won in South Lawrence West’s Ward E, where he received nearly a third of the 7,625 votes he won across the city. Almost 3,300 of the neighborhood’s voters cast ballots Tuesday, and they gave Rivera 71 percent of their votes.

In the North Common and Plains neighborhoods of District B, where Lantigua had his best showing, 532 fewer voters cast ballots than in Ward E and they gave their votes to Lantigua by a slimmer — but still impressive — margin. Sixty-five percent of the ward’s voters went for Lantigua.

The numbers suggest Rivera delivered on his promise to win over the votes cast for the four also-rans in the preliminary election on Sept. 17, when Rivera finished a distant second to Lantigua.

On Tuesday, Rivera added 4,766 votes to what he tallied up in the preliminary election two months ago.

Lantigua picked up only another 1,900.

Those numbers suggest that the 6,666 voters who skipped September’s preliminary election but voted in Tuesday’s general election broke for Rivera by nearly 3-to-1.

The most impressive turnaround for Rivera was in Prospect Hill in Ward A, where Lantigua won nearly 49 percent of the vote against the five challengers two months ago.

On Tuesday, Lantigua received the same 49 percent, but against Rivera alone.

In another turnaround, Rivera carried 10 of the city’s 24 precincts, compared to just three in the preliminary.

“The myth of the unbeatable Lantigua is just that — a myth,” Rivera said yesterday about the numbers and how he piled them up on Tuesday. “We’re humble about the fact that we got our numbers out. We’re happy about the way we did it. We went door-to-door. We called voters. We were holding signs (on street corners) at 5:30 in the morning. We showed them we really wanted it.”

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