Candidates William Bishop Humphrey and Kathryn K. Winters emerged victorious over Rena L. Getz in a tight preliminary election to determine Newton’s Ward 5 city councilor on Tuesday. Humphrey, a lifelong resident of Newton and former senior editor at The Globalist Magazine, secured 491 votes, just ahead of Winters—a Boston College graduate and president of the Waban Area Council—who received 483 votes.
Getz, a research scientist, earned 437 votes, losing to Winters by a mere 46 votes, the city clerk’s office reported on Tuesday night.
Humphrey and Winters stress similar policy priorities, as identified on both candidates websites.
On his campaign website, Humphrey outlines eight major issues to prioritize if elected, and states that his number one policy issue is combating climate change and safeguarding the environment of Newton by improving transportation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. His remaining issues include housing, expanding public services and resources, increasing disabilities access and integration, enhancing senior life, welcoming young residents, promoting revenue fairness and inequality, and education.
On her campaign website, Winters stresses 11 key priorities she would hold as councilor, which include fostering increased communication for constituent services, community building, improving city streets and sidewalks, elevating Newton public schools, protecting city green spaces and the environment, reforming zoning codes, and increasing housing options—to name a few.
Newton City Council, the city’s legislative branch of municipal government, is composed of 24 members, 16 at-large Councilors and eight Ward Councilors. Councilors are elected every two years. The role of a ward councilor is to provide constituent services, vote on city council policy decisions, resolve conflicts and problems within the community, and keep residents updated on city plans such as road repairs, snow and waste removal, environmental policies, and petitions.
Of the eight wards, Ward 5, which includes the neighborhoods of Waban and Upper Falls, was the only district to cast ballots in the preliminary election. Voter turnout was 17 percent, city clerk David Olson told the Boston Globe.
Both Humphrey and Winters advance to the primary municipal election, which will be held on Nov. 5. The winner will replace current Councilor John Rice, who is not seeking reelection.
Voting locations for Nov. 5 have yet to be determined, but will be posted on the City of Newton’s website.
Featured Image by Keara Hanlon / For the Heights