The Norman Transcript

News Features

November 26, 2013

First Latino mayor concedes to rival

LAWRENCE, Mass. — Speaking over Spanish language radio, the first Latino to become mayor of a Massachusetts city has finally conceded defeat, three weeks after a disputed election saw him narrowly ousted by a fellow Latino and former supporter.

Mayor William Lantigua, a polarizing figure, told supporters Monday night he would not contest in court the Nov. 5 election outcome that saw him lose to Daniel Rivera by 58 votes out of 15,000 cast nor would he challenge a Saturday recount of the ballots that increased Rivera’s winning margin to 81 votes.

Nonetheless, Lantigua again questioned the validity of the election, declaring 100 “spoiled ballots” — votes disqualified by election officials — would have re-elected him to a second four-year term as mayor of this predominantly Hispanic city of 75,000.

Lantigua, 58, a native of the Dominican Republic, blamed the “racist media” for his defeat in remarks in English to a gaggle of news reporters after his concession address on La Maga AM 1400 radio.

“If my name were John Sullivan and I looked like some of you, my face would be on the cover of Money magazine or Forbes because of what I’ve done,” said Lantigua, a reference to his claim he saved Lawrence from a financial crisis by balancing the city budget but got little publicity for the achievement.

Rivera, at 42, becomes the youngest Dominican-American elected mayor in the U.S.

He was born in Lawrence to Dominican parents, served in the Army during Operation Desert Storm and went on to graduate from the University of Massachusetts and earn an MBA from Suffolk University in Boston. He was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts.

As a city councilor, Rivera supported Lantigua his first year in office, but soon became a constant critic, contending Lantigua squandered an opportunity to cast Lawrence, a hardscrabble former mill city, as a good place to live, work and do business.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • March Against Monsanto Protesters rally against agro giant Monsanto

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Rain did not deter protesters at the March Against Monsanto in Bricktown on Saturday evening. A button on one man’s shirt was typical of the attitude of many of the marchers, “I’m one of those people,” it read....

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore Med Cent Groundbreaking Community still grieving but looking toward future, new beginnings

    MOORE — One year after an EF-5 tornado devastated a core area of Moore that included the Moore Medical Center, the community gathered on the site of the former hospital to reflect and remember those who were lost....

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple mourns loss of young lives

    When the tornado hit, Dennis and Wilma Chastain were holding hands. On May 20, 2013, the couple left their home in south Oklahoma City in Green Briar Estates near Westmoore High School around 2 p.m. to make it to a 2:30 appointment near ...

    May 20, 2014

  • Interfaith group invites women to join

    Women of a variety of faiths brought prayers and dinner and shared peaceful dialogue recently at a Norman home. Malaka Elyazgi’s prayer sounded like a song tripping off her lips in her native tongue. The translation was equally poetic....

    April 28, 2014

  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013