Cities and Towns Prepare for Mayoral Elections in Western and Central Mass.

It’s an off-year for most state and national elections, but many communities across western and central Massachusetts will pick mayors in Tuesday’s election.

Among the cities picking a mayor is Holyoke, where Alex Morse is running for re-election. He was elected two years ago at age 22. He’s being challenged by resident Jeff Stanek. Morse has outraised Stanek, thanks in part to support from outside of Holyoke. At least 44 percent of the money Morse reported in his latest campaign filing – comes from outside the city. For his part, Stanek has pumped more of his own money into the campaign than Morse has.

Other contested mayoral races include Chicopee, Easthampton, Gardner, Leominster, North Adams, West Springfield, and Westfield. A number of municipalities will also pick city councilors, including Pittsfield, Springfield, and Worcester.

In Easthampton, 4 candidates are vying to succeed Mike Tautznik, who’s been the only mayor since Easthampton changed its charter to become a city in 1996.

Tautznik says he’s happy with what he’s accomplished as mayor, but says there’s always more to do.

“There’s a host of things I think that are left undone,” Tautznik says, “but in my mind, that’s the right way to lead is you’re always leading for the future, so you need to plan well beyond your tenure in order to be effective in this kind of work.”

Earlier this fall, Tautznik made a run for the open state Senate seat formerly held by Mike Knapik, but lost in the Democratic primary. He says he’s unsure of his plans once he’s out of office, but is looking for work in the private sector.