Albert J. Marro / STaff Photo
Rutland City Alderman Charles Romeo, left, and Mayor Chris Louras wave to voters driving into the Godnick Adult Center polling place Tuesday evening. Both Romeo and Louras won re-election.Christopher Louras is still the mayor.
Louras beat back a challenge from Board of Aldermen President David Allaire, 2,032 to 1,611.
“I recognize it as the voters' affirmation that the direction we're taking is the right one,” he said.
Louras characterized that approach as long-term comprehensive planning in infrastructure improvements, public safety and economic development.
“I think he's done a great job,” city resident Clare Coppock said after casting her vote for Louras at Christ the King School late Tuesday afternoon. “I'm really excited about the direction the city is going and I want to keep it going in that direction.”
Allaire said he did not have any theories as to why Louras outpaced him, but both candidates noted the turnout, which they characterized as low.
Turnout was actually higher than the roughly 3,200 who voted at town meeting last year. It was also higher than the 2011 revote of the Giorgetti bond (roughly 3,300), which was higher than that year's town meeting. On the other hand, it was well below the 6,500 city voters who came to the polls in November.
While there was no presidential race on the ballot Tuesday, Allaire said he thought that the mayoral race and increased city and school budgets would have stimulated turnout.
Allaire said he thought he raised a number of important issues.
“I think we've got people talking about the drugs and the crime,” he said. “I look forward to working with new members of the board and the mayor.”
Allaire said he would decide today whether he would seek another year as president of the board, but that he was leaning toward doing so.
“This hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for this job one bit,” he said. “I'm energized by the campaign. I'm disappointed I lost but I had a lot of positive support.”
Louras campaigned on efforts in economic development and public safety that he argued were finally beginning to bear fruit, while Allaire cast Louras as having done nothing, with any efforts the mayor had made coming too late.
The race got heated, with Louras ending the second mayoral debate by launching a blistering attack on Allaire for running a negative campaign, saying his opponent would say anything to get elected.
Louras, who will begin his fourth term, said he did not think the campaign had damaged his ability to work with Allaire.
“I can work with anybody,” he said. “I will continue to work with him the same as I always have.”
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