LAWRENCE — City Councilor Daniel Rivera tonight defeated Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua by just 60 votes.
The unofficial tally released by the city nearly four hours after the polls closed at 7 p.m. was Rivera at 7,625 and Lantigua at 7,565.
City Clerk William Maloney did not release the precinct-by-precinct results nor would he say what the voter turnout was. There are 24 precincts.
"This is all you are going to get for now," Maloney said.
It was not know if Lantigua would ask for a recount. He barred many members of the media from his campaign headquarters near City Hall.
"They better post a guard at the ballots or we are going to have a problem," Rivera said.
The ballot boxes were in a vault inside the elections department. The door to the vault was sealed and the place was under armed guard by Lawrence police.
Rivera was at City Hall by 9 p.m.
A mob of jubilant Rivera supporters, many of them carrying signs and shouting gleefully, swarmed into City Hall starting at about 9 p.m.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. and it took almost two hours for the last ballot boxes to arrive at City Hall.
As early as 8 p.m. some Rivera supporters were arriving at City Hall suggesting the contest was going to be close.
The day's voting was heavily monitoted.
As many as four voting machines broke down – including one that broke twice - a poll worker was removed for electioneering and piles of campaign literature were dropped off inside polling places yesterday, but spokesmen for the Secretary of State, Common Cause and city police reported few of the more serious irregularities that occurred in September's preliminary election.
"It's been pretty quiet,” Pamela Wilmot, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of Common Cause, which sent 30 observers to the city.