Narkewicz Wins Northampton Mayor’s Race in Landslide
NORTHAMPTON — It’s official — City Council President David Narkewicz will be the city’s 44th mayor.
The 45-year-old former congressional aide and at-home dad defeated opponent Michael Bardsley, 62, a retired guidance councilor, by a 70% – 30% margin.
Narkewicz has been serving as acting mayor since Sept. 9, when six-term mayor Clare Higgins stepped down to take a job in the non-profit sector. He is in his third two-year term on the City Council.
Bardsley had served on the council for 16 years before running for mayor against Higgins in 2009. In that race, he lost by only 341 votes.
But this time, he didn’t come close.
Narkewicz tallied 6,456 votes to Bardsley’s 2,763, prevailing in each of the city’s 14 precincts. Voter turnout stood at about 49%.
During Narkewicz’ campaign, he focused on the future and kept his message positive, while Bardsley seemed to dwell upon the past, bringing up old grievances with the Higgins administration.
Bardsley claimed that Narkewicz had been anointed as mayor by a “small group of entitled insiders” and insisted that Narkewicz was unqualified to lead the city.
For his part, Narkewicz stayed on point, outlining a vision for economic development, progressive government, and broad citizen participation.
In the city’s other races, Bill Dwight and incumbent Jesse Adams won at-large seats on the City Council, handily defeating challengers Michael Janik and “M.J” Adams-Pullan.
David Rothstein and Marlene Morin won seats on the Community Preservation Committee, defeating Mari Gottdiener and James Durfer.
And voters overwhelmingly defeated a question — 6,204 to 2,732 — that would repeal the city’s participation in the Community Preservation Act. The CPA allows Massachusetts cities and towns to fund land conservation, historic preservation, housing, and recreation projects through a local property tax surcharge.