Setti and Ruth win prelims

By Jeremiah Davis
Published: September 2009

State Representative Ruth Balser and Setti Warren won Newton’s preliminary mayoral election on September 21. Five candidates were on the ballot: Warren, Balser, Alderman Ken Parker, William Heck, and Alderman Paul Coletti.

The election results showed State Representative Balser as the frontrunner with 36 percent of the vote, and Warren as a strong second with 31 percent. The other candidates fell behind, Alderman Parker securing 15 percent, Heck with 10 percent, and Alderman Coletti trailing the group with 8 percent.

The two leaders, Balser and Warren, are both politically-active Democrats who have varied experience within the Newton community. Balser has served as a Newton Alderman and is currently in her sixth term as a Massachusetts State Representative. Throughout her political career, she helped create and maintain many influential institutions within the city government, including the Newton Child Care Commission and the Public Safety and Transportation Committee. In addition, she is environmentally conscious and was named the 2001 “Environmentalist of the Year by the Newton Conservators.

Warren, a Newton native, has been politically active since he was elected class president all four years that he attended Newton North High School. In Newton politics, Warren helped found the Community Preservation Committee, and he worked on the Newton Economic Development Commission. In addition, he has held many prominent positions in national politics, such as New England Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by President Clinton in 1999 and the Deputy State Director for Senator John Kerry. Warren has had firsthand experience in the White House, working with the Department of the Treasury, FEMA, and the Small Business Administration during Clinton’s presidency.

For the next few months, the two candidates will face off in public forum debates and continue campaigning until the general election on November 2.

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