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All right!!!! Congratulations to Mayor Guinta!!! \\:D/ Frank has made public safety a priority in his work as alderman, and has promissed to keep public safety as one of his chief priorities here in New Hampshire largest city!!! I am absolutely thrilled, and if I weren't working right now, I'd be knocking back a cold one!! \\:D/
Surprise! It's Guinta
Union Leader Staff
31 minutes ago

Manchester — Voters looking for change handed Republican Frank Guinta a stunning upset victory in the mayor’s race yesterday, tossing three-term incumbent Democrat Robert Baines out of office.

Guinta took 51 percent of the vote, winning eight of the city’s 12 wards. His 10,115 votes compared to Baines’ 9,579, or 48 percent, according to unofficial results that also included write-ins.

Speaking to an elated crowd at the Black Brimmer, Guinta promised to deliver on his call to cut taxes, address violent crime and improve high school test scores.

“It’s what we’ve talked about in this campaign, and it’s what I’ve pledged to you,” said Guinta, alderman for downtown Ward 3.

Democrats continue to dominate the aldermanic and school boards and the welfare commissioner’s office.

Two former Republican aldermen seeking to return to the board were rejected by voters — though Guinta ally Real Pinard, an independent former alderman, upset incumbent Paul Porter by nine votes in Ward 6.

Long-time Alderman Mary Sysyn of Ward 4 was defeated by fellow Democrat Jerome Duval, who took 59 percent of the vote.

On the school side, at-large board member Tom Donovan, a Democrat, was bounced from office. In Ward 12, Republican incumbent B.J. Perry was also upset, losing to Kelleigh Domaingue, who was recruited to run by the Democratic party.

Baines conceded the mayor’s race to Guinta last night, going to the Black Brimmer to offer his congratulations.

“Best of luck,” said Baines, who ran a campaign that touted his hometown roots and Manchester’s revitalization. “I will work with him hand-in-hand over these next weeks and months to ensure the everyone gets behind him.”

Guinta invested more than $65,000 of his own money in his bid, offering a succinct catch phrase that highlighted six years of tax increases, a 55 percent increase in violent crime, and three high schools that failed federal testing standards.

“I want to end with three numbers that I think you all know,” Guinta told supporters. “Six, fifty-five, three.”

Residents cast 19,912 ballots yesterday, a 35 percent turnout that was about 2,000 lower than predicted by the city clerk. Candidates have until Friday to request recounts.

Leaving the polls in Ward 4, Maria Cote of Laurel Street said she picked Guinta this time, despite voting for Baines in the past.

“It’s time for a change,” said Cote, an independent who also voted for Duval. “Six years is a good, long run.”

Hank Radwanski of Day Street said he went with Guinta because of taxes.

“I just feel that taxes are still going up,” said Radwanski. “I get fed up with the increases. There’s got to be a better way.”

Incumbent Democrat Armand Forest retained his Ward 12 alderman’s seat by 27 votes against Republican Keith Hirschmann. In Guinta’s home ward, ironworker and Democrat Pat Long beat Baines’ critic Joe Kelly Levasseur.

“Seventeen weeks of meeting the residents of Ward 3 paid off,” Long said. “For seventeen weeks I was hitting the road and meeting people.”

The city’s two Democratic at-large aldermen, Mike Lopez and Dan O’Neil, were each returned for another term, as was Welfare Commissioner Paul Martineau, a Democrat who faced token opposition.

Incumbent Democratic Alderman Mark Roy fended off a challenge in Ward 1 by Siobhan Tautkus, winning by 401 votes.

Democratic Ward 11 Alderman Hank Thibault held on by 14 votes in an unexpectedly close election with Republican Jason Cooper.

Alderman Mike Garrity won by a landslide against Steven Freeman, and also helped deliver Ward 9 to Guinta, despite it being Baines’ home ward. Baines, in turn, won Guinta’s Ward 3.

Garrity said he started to feel strong momentum for Guinta over the weekend as he and the candidate knocked on doors and went around the city on an ice cream truck.

“People were positive to us,” said Garrity, who was Guinta’s campaign co-chairman. “And if they weren’t voting for us, they weren’t slamming doors in our faces either. They were willing to listen.”

Baines campaign co-chairman Brad Cook said Baines always refused to go negative. Baines did highlight Guinta’s lack of executive experience and his work for a politician, but Baines never slammed his opponent, Cook said.

“The sad truth in politics, I suppose, is negative campaigning works,” Cook said.

Manchester voters have a history of bouncing incumbent mayors, said state Democratic Party chairman Kathy Sullivan.

“It seems that in Manchester, voters like to rotate the people at the top,” Sullivan said. Otherwise, voters strengthened the Democratic majorities on the aldermanic and school boards, she said.

“This is one of the elections where everybody has to step back and figure out what the voters are telling us,” Sullivan said.
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