Bevilacqua becomes City Council president 

Joseph Bevilacqua 

HAVERHILL — City Councilor Joseph Bevilacqua, who won the popular vote to become the council president next year, will see a lot of familiar faces in his upcoming term.

In addition to Bevilacqua, all current city councilors won re-election to their seats. Their two-year terms start in January.

Bevilacqua topped current City Council President John Michitson on Tuesday night, 6,029 to 5,507.

While he was out removing some of his more than 200 campaign signs, Bevilacqua kept receiving text messages but he didn't know exactly why.

"I just wanted to be one of the nine councilors," Bevilacqua said after his sound victory Tuesday night. "I'm overwhelmed to be chosen and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the City Council." 

Bevilacqua credited two key factors for the outcome in the City Council race and his re-election.

"I truly believe that Haverhill residents know that they do matter and that we work for them and that makes a difference," Bevilacqua said. "The other factor is that they know when they need assistance, I'm there for them and they understand that."

Incumbents Melinda Barrett, Mary Ellen Daly O'Brien, Tim Jordan, Colin LePage, William Macek, Michael McGonagle, and Tom Sullivan all kept their seats.

Seven challengers included a pair of candidates in their mid-20s — Nicholas Golden and Joe Sherlocke — who earned early recognition among residents for their earnest, door-to-door, grassroots efforts canvassing neighborhoods.

Golden has political experience as the communications director at the Massachusetts Statehouse. Sherlocke works as a paralegal advocate at Harvard Law School Legal Services Center, is a former middle school teacher, a former congressional field organizer, and current education advocate. 

Other challengers included Stavros DiMakis, who runs a family business; Ken Quimby, who previously served a single term on the City Council; Shaun Toohey, who previously served on the School Committee (2004-2018); Fred Simmons, who's been on a number of area committees including the Haverhill Housing Commission; and Douglas Edison, the past president of the Rail Trail Committee and the city's Brightside, who also worked as a community liaison for Rep. Andy Vargas in 2018.

"The results are the will of the voter," Bevilacqua said. "I look forward to work with the Council and the School Committee and keep moving Haverhill forward."


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