Longtime Medford City Councilor Breanna Lungo-Koehn won a close victory in Meford’s mayoral election yesterday, edging out incumbent Mayor Stephanie Burke by just 652 votes. Burke, who has been mayor since 2015, garnered 47.43% of the vote; Lungo-Koehn earned 52.37%.
Lungo-Koehn, a local lawyer, has been on the Medford City Council since 2001. Her campaign has been marked with calls for transparency and critique of Burke’s style of leadership, particularly regarding a lack of transparency. She welcomed her victory as an indication that Medford’s attitudes toward its government are shifting.
“The results of today’s election confirmed what we’ve heard throughout the year: that Medford is a fantastic place, but we need a change in direction from the mayor’s office,” Lungo-Koehn said.
In an acceptance speech following her victory, Lungo-Koehn called for unity between her voters and Burke’s.
“To Mayor Burke and her supporters, thank you for a positive conversation about the future of Medford,” she said. “I want you to know that I am committed to earning your trust as mayor.”
Lungo-Koehn said she would outline a transition plan for her administration in the next few weeks. She said this committee would be composed of three subcommittees: schools, parking and city services, and planning and development. She invited Burke’s supporters to join and provide input into these committees.
Neither Lungo-Koehn nor Burke could not be reached for official comment by press time.
All five incumbent candidates for City Council won top victories, garnering a total of 43.86% of the total votes and leaving two open. Nicole Morell, who currently works at MIT’s Office of Sustainability, was one of the non-incumbents who won with 7.5% of the total vote. Zac Bears, whose campaign focused largely on keeping Medford affordable by placing restrictions on developers, won with 8.08% of the total vote. Neither Bears nor Morell could be reached by press time.