---- — LAWRENCE — Mayor William Lantigua was the top vote getter in the six-way race for mayor in today's preliminary election with 5,725 votes.
Challenger Daniel Rivera, a member of the city council, came in second with 2,799 votes.
That translates to 47.8 percent of the vote for Lantigua and 23.4 percent for Rivera.
The two top vote getters advance to the general election in November.
State Rep. Marcos Devers came in third with 1,907 votes and local firefighter Juan Manny Gonzalez got 1,058 votes.
Coming in last were James Patrick O'Donoghue with 305 votes and Nestor DeJesus got 165 votes.
The turnout in the election was 32.6 percent of the city's 36,882 registered voters.
Lantigua declared himself the top vote getter far in advance of the official results being released. The results were released more than three hours after the polls closed at 7 p.m.
Lantigua celebrated at his crowded campaign headquarters on Essex Street where he stood beside Deputy Police Chief Melix Bonilla, who is on paid leave while facing bribery and extortion charges.
Rivera also claimed he garnered enough votes for second place hours before the results were released while waiting at City Hall.
Counting of the ballots went on behind closed doors at City Hall under the supervision of a representative from the office of the Massachusetts secretary of state.
Lantigua was giving a victory speech at his campaign headquarters on Essex Street and then went to City Hall about 9:30 p.m.
Rivera, said he "going to put the mayor on trial" during the election.
Candidates for city council and school committee are also on the ballot.