The 24-year-old mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts is headed to a second term. Alex Morse beat challenger Jeff Stanek with 54 percent of the vote yesterday.
About a year ago, Alex Morse was getting berated by some of his own supporters for briefly flirting with a casino proposal in the economically struggling city. He had been elected the previous year on an anti-casino platform. But last night, Holyokers gave Morse two more years, with a solid margin of victory. Morse says he’s learned lessons in his first term.
“I didn’t run for this position to accomplish just a two year plan,” says Morse. “It was really about thinking about ten years, twenty years out. How can we improve public education here? How can we make Holyoke a place where people want to invest? How can we make sure that no matter what neighborhood you live in, you’re going to feel safe? And those aren’t things you can do overnight, or even in a two year period.”
Morse’s opponent Jeff Stanek came to Morse’s election party to congratulate him on the win. Stanek was a political newcomer in this election.
“I feel happy for what we accomplished, I got in this race in June, and I think we accomplished a lot, and we took a good run at it,” Stanek says.
Stanek says he’s not sure if he’ll stay involved in local government. For Morse’s part, he says right now his political ambitions are to stay Holyoke’s mayor.