FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI/AP) — Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan has conceded a mayoral recall election to Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, one of seven challengers he faced in a two-part recall vote.
According to Sutter’s campaign manager, Flanagan conceded just before 9 p.m. Flanagan was serving his third term in office.
“Tonight is a night of celebration,” said Flanagan. “I’ll look back at our administration, an administration that cared. And to the next mayor, he has the daunting task of continuing to bring a city together. And it’s our responsibility to make sure we help him do that.
Approximately 69 percent of Fall River voters opted to recall Flanagan, and elected Sutter for mayor.
Sutter defeated seven other opponents capturing almost 37 percent of the vote. Flanagan finished in second place with almost 27 percent of the vote.
“I think it means the same kind of things that you’ve seen from the DA’s office over the last 8 years,” said Sutter. “Integrity, openness, honesty, and effectiveness.”
At the earliest, Sutter will be sworn in on December 29.
Flanagan had two chances to keep his office in the special recall election. One was to avoid recall at all. The second was being selected again to be mayor from among the other candidates.
The recall movement focused on management issues including fire department layoffs and a city councilor’s allegation that Flanagan had tried to intimidate him by showing a gun. Flanagan denied that happened.
Sutter previously ran unsuccessfully for Congress and considered a run for state attorney general.
Sutter’s office is also about to begin the Aaron Hernandez trial.
“The Hernandez case has, in my opinion, a great trial team. The case is ready to go to trial,” said Sutter, “Bill McCauley and Pat Bomberg, they’re legendary statewide for their trial skills.”
However, it is still unclear how the district attorney’s victory in Fall River could have an impact on that case.