WESTFIELD – State Sen. Donald F. Humason Jr. is the city’s mayor-elect.
Humason was hesitant Nov. 5 to claim victory when just 97 votes separated him and his opponent, Westfield Police Capt. Michael A. McCabe.
However, according to City Clerk Karen Fanion, absentee votes were included in the numbers and there were only 10 provisional ballots to be researched.
Supporters of Humason gathered with him at East Mountain Country Club Tuesday night and celebrated his probable victory.
Humason said he had prepared two speeches, one for a win and one in case of defeat.
“I guess I need a third speech for this situation,” he said when he wasn’t sure he should declare victory.
Humason thanked his family, friends and supporters, as well as McCabe.
“This was a very well-run race on both sides,” Humason said. “It was a gentleman’s race. That’s how we do it in Westfield and that’s how it should be done.”
Humason said political campaigns are a group effort.
“No candidate does this alone,” he said, “it’s with the support of family and friends. All of you who volunteered, I thank you.”
Humason’s son Quinn sat on Humason’s lap while he and City Council candidates Dan Allie, Nicholas J. Morganelli Jr., Matt Emmershy and Andrew K. Surprise crunched numbers. Quinn pointed to a chart on the table and quickly added the numbers, declaring his father victorious.
Humason’s wife Janice said she “had butterflies” all day.
“I went to work for part of the day, and Don is usually quiet on Election Day, but he’s been quiet for days,” she said, joking that quiet is not in his nature.
“Don is going to be a good mayor. I’m very happy,” she said.
Supporters Edward and Regina Ekmalian wore their “Humason” shirts and said they have supported him ever since they first met him at the Westfield Senior Center seven years ago.
“I like the way he votes on issues,” said Edward Ekmalian. “He’s devoted to Westfield – he wears that pin and he means it,” he added, noting Humason’s famous “I (heart) Westfield” pin.
“He wanted this so bad,” said Regina Ekmalian.
State Sen. John C. Velis said earlier this year he was interested in seeking Humason’s Senate seat, if he’s elected. He said Tuesday night was about Humason and McCabe.
“Huge congratulations to Senator Humason and to Capt. McCabe. To put your name on a ballot and subject yourself to public scrutiny takes enormous courage,” Velis said.
Velis commended both candidates for their campaigns.
“At some point, if you want to effect change, you have to be willing to be part of the process,” he said.