Sciarra rolls to victory in Northampton mayor’s race 

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  • Northampton mayoral candidate Gina-Louise Sciarra, center, is greeted by sisters Rainey Sciarra, left, from New Jersey and Dalen Cole, who just moved to the city, as she arrives at city hall to see election results on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton mayoral candidate Gina-Louise Sciarra is joined by her daughters Simone, left, and Laz, and sister Dalen Cole, right, of Northampton as they hear early results at City Hall on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton mayoral candidate Marc Warner waits for results at city hall on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Northampton Mayor-elect Gina-Louise Sciarra celebrates with supporters gathered at Spoleto restaurant in Northampton on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 11/2/2021 10:23:37 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Gina-Louise Sciarra will serve as Northampton’s 45th mayor after beating Marc Warner by more than 3,300 votes.

Voters in Tuesday’s city election chose Sciarra, the City Council president, to replace Mayor David Narkewicz, who did not seek reelection after 10 years in office and endorsed Sciarra as his successor.

Sciarra was first elected to the City Council in November 2013, when she won the Ward 4 seat. Voters elected her to an at-large seat in 2019, making her the first woman to serve in that role in Northampton in 25 years. The City Council elected Sciarra president in January 2020.

Warner acknowledged his defeat while watching the returns at City Hall. The results showed 5,842 votes for Sciarra and 2,510 for Warner. Voter turnout was just under 40% of the city’s 21,513 voters.

Sciarra celebrated her victory with family and supporters at the downtown restaurant Spoleto.

“I’m really, really excited, and I’m so grateful to the people of Northampton. We had a vision of Northampton that brought people together, and I’m really gratified that people unified around my progressive values,” Sciarra said. She plans to spend part of Wednesday walking around the city thanking voters.

Sciarra will leave her job as communications manager for Pathlight, the parent organization for several programs including Whole Children, Milestones, Autism Connections and Family Empowerment.

The mayor serves a four-year term and earns $92,500 per year.

Warner, a 2015 candidate for City Council at large, founded Warner Transportation Consulting nearly three decades ago, and he has served on four city committees since 2012. He ran under the slogan “A Well-Run City,” emphasizing the managerial and fiscal responsibilities of the mayor’s office.

“The general consensus was that Gina-Louise had a huge head start,” Warner said after his defeat. “It was insurmountable, but I ran anyway because … I felt this was an important message that had to be told.”

He repeated his campaign trail criticism of the City Council’s decision to cut the Police Department budget by 10%, calling it a “breach of trust” by public officials.

In the Sept. 28 preliminary election, Sciarra and Warner advanced from a field of four candidates, which included social worker Shanna Fishel and perennial candidate Roy Martin. Sciarra earned about 61% of the preliminary vote while Warner picked up about 22%.

Since starting her campaign fundraising in February, Sciarra received $33,544 in donations and spent about $23,000, according to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Northampton donors contributed $28,195.

Warner entered the race in late June and reported his first contribution in August. Campaign finance records show that Warner donated $1,500 to his own campaign and 15 other donors contributed $1,225 more.

In Tuesday’s race for two at-large City Council seats, voters chose Jamila Gore and Marissa Elkins. They will replace Sciarra and retiring councilor Bill Dwight.

Voters also passed Question 1 by a margin of more than 10-1, allowing the city to pursue a municipal broadband internet system.

Brian Steele can be reached at bsteele@gazettenet.com.

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