LAWRENCE — Calling it "a beautiful and sunny day," Mayor-elect Daniel Rivera spoke to a crowd of 100 in Campagnone Common at noon yesterday, promising his administration "will bring sunshine into City Hall."
More than five hours later, Mayor William Lantigua stood on the TV camera-lit sidewalk in front of his campaign headquarters letting his attorney Sal Tabit of Broadhurst Tabit LLC in Methuen, answer reporters' questions about whether he plans to concede to Rivera (no) or call for a recount (maybe) of the vote. Both the mayor and lawyer left reporters, literally and figuratively, in the dark.
“I just don’t think it’s fair to tell you, ‘Yes, the mayor is going to call for a recount, or no, he’s not,’ when we don’t even have the official votes in yet,’” Tabit said.
The ways the two candidates dealt with the public illustrate their differences. Rivera spoke in the daylight, to anyone and everyone in attendance. Lantigua waited until dark, saying virtually nothing in public. Then he picked a few supporters and reporters — nearly all representatives of Hispanic media — to hear his thoughts on the election.
An Eagle-Tribune news reporter, several television reporters and other members of the press were not allowed inside for the public statement that Lantigua said he would make.
While the Lantigua campaign has been criticized for isolating itself, Rivera's has focused on inclusion. Unlike Lantigua, he has engaged in debates and forums, talked to the public and gone door-to-door during his campaign to talk to residents. Yesterday at his rally, Rivera also talked about inclusion.
"There is one other number that counts: 76,000," Rivera said, referring to the number of city residents. "And to every single resident of the city of Lawrence, I promise I will get up every day to diligently and professionally work to improve their lives and our city's future. This election was about the future of our city and today we begin the job of making Lawrence better."