By Michael Ballway and Amy Porter
WESTFIELD — Donald Humason Jr. knew he was in trouble before the final vote tally was in.
A little after 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Humason arrived at his election night rally at East Mountain Country Club, after taking several phone calls in the parking lot. Official results hadn’t been released yet, but the mood was somber and supporters were already shaking their heads.
“You know I’ve lost,” Humason told his supporters shortly after arriving. “I’m OK. You should be OK, too. There’s always a winner and loser. I wish it were me. I’ll be there to help the new person.”
In other contested races on Tuesday’s ballot, Ward 1 City Councilor Nicholas Morganelli Jr. easily fended off a challenge from Marybeth Berrien, and Timothy O’Connor, Heather Sullivan and Kathleen Hillman won a six-way race for three seats on the School Committee.
It was Humason’s first defeat in 20 years of holding elected office, dating back to his days as Westfield’s state senator and, before that, as its state representative starting in 2001. Many of his supporters at the rally had been on his team the whole time.
In his concession phone call to McCabe, Humason said he looked forward to working with him on the transition, and both candidates thanked each other for running a clean campaign.
“I love Westfield,” said Humason. “I’ve lived here my entire life. I’m looking forward to helping in whatever way I can.”
Janice Humason, the mayor’s wife and campaign manager, said after years of dealing with the commute to Boston, “it was wonderful to have Don close by, but he worked long hours. … He’s worked really hard and really long hours. It’s not just a 9 to 5 job. … The balance in that is always a challenge, especially when you have a young family.”
“He’s a cat and will land on his feet,” Janice Humason added.
“I have a lot of faith in God,” said the mayor. “I’m looking forward to seeing what He has next in store for me.”
The two incumbents running for School Committee were the top vote-getters in a six-way race for three seats. Timothy O’Connor earned 4,429 votes city-wide, with Heather Sullivan garnering 4,349. Fewer than 200 votes separated the remaining four candidates, as Kathleen Hillman was elected to the third available seat on the board with 2,472 votes, followed by Tom Lewis with 2,389, Martha Marie Breton with 2,342 and Jeffrey Gosselin with 2,275. Hillman will take an open seat on the board, as current member Cindy Sullivan chose not to run for re-election. School Committee members serve four-year terms.
Incumbent City Councilor Nicholas Morganelli Jr. scored a convincing win in the Ward 1 race, garnering 1,049 votes to challenger Marybeth Berrien’s 609, and earning an additional two years on the council. Morganelli won wide margins in both Ward 1 precincts.
The rest of the City Council was re-elected without opposition, including at-large incumbent councilors James Adams, Dan Allie, Brent Bean II, Dave Flaherty, Cindy Harris, Kristen Mello and Richard Sullivan Jr., and ward representatives Ralph Figy (Ward 2), Bridget Matthews-Kane (Ward 3), Michael Burns (Ward 4), John Beltrandi III (Ward 5) and William Onyski (Ward 6). All will serve an additional two-year term.
All six incumbents on the Municipal Light Board were re-elected with no opponents. Kevin Kelleher Sr. (Ward 1), Ray Rivera (Ward 2), Dawn Renaudette (Ward 3), Francis Liptak (Ward 4), Joseph Mitchell (Ward 5) and Robert Sacco (Ward 6) will all serve an additional two-year term on the board.
Andrea Pennington was the only candidate for a six-year term as Westfield Athenaeum trustee.