Gomez wins Precinct 2 council seat in Easthampton

  • Paul St. Pierre Paul St. Pierre

  • Homar Gomez Homar Gomez

  • Homar Gomez, second from left, who won an Easthampton City Council Precinct 2 seat, talks with Marin Goldstein, who ran for Easthampton School Committee, during an election night gathering Tuesday at Abandoned Building Brewery. Shannon Dunham, left, and Jonathan Schmidt, right, won School Committee seats. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Joy Winnie, left, who ran for Easthampton mayor, Paul St. Pierre, Jr., who ran for Eastahampton City Council Precinct 2, and Rose Spurgin, who ran for Easthampton School Committee, chat while waiting for election results at Winnie's gathering Tuesday at Eastworks. All three lost. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

EASTHAMPTON — Homar Gomez won the seat on the City Council representing Precinct 2, besting Paul St. Pierre Jr.

Gomez said he moved to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico in 1997 to pursue the “American dream.”

Of the 2,503 registered voters in Precinct 2, 912, or 36.4 percent, turned out to cast their ballots. Gomez won with 455 votes, besting Paul St. Pierre Jr.’s 324 votes.

Gomez, 42, a varsity softball coach for Easthampton, works remotely doing finance for his family’s bakery in Puerto Rico. Gomez said Tuesday afternoon before results came in that he was looking for a way to serve the community.

“I’ll bring a different perspective,” Gomez said. “Especially with what happened at the high school.”

One of the stigmas Gomez said he has faced is that with a strong Spanish accent, many people think he is stupid.

Resident Kae Collins, who has been active in pushing for a sanctuary city measure, said she supports Gomez. She said what struck her the most about Gomez was a comment he made at a debate about the how city government can set an example for the community on bias and discrimination, and it’s something that cannot be tolerated.

“It touched me deeply,” Collins said.

St. Pierre, 29, runs Applied Chemistries in Agawam, which manufactures specialty chemicals used in the printing industry. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

The seat was held for two terms by Jennifer Hayes, who did not seek re-election.

Other Precinct races were uncontested. Voters re-elected James “JP” Kwiecinski (Precinct 1), Salem Derby (Precinct 4) and Daniel Rist (Precinct 5).

Newcomer Thomas Peake, an economist for the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute in Hadley, was elected to represent Precinct 3 — the seat Joy E. Winnie held for 21 years.