In Agawam, Sapelli And Cichetti Advance In Mayoral Race

Oct 11, 2017

Voters in Agawam, Mass., narrowed a field of three mayoral candidates down to two after a preliminary election Tuesday.

Former Agawam school superintendent Bill Sapelli won the most votes with just over 2,500. City Council President Jimmy Cichetti was next, with just under 1,030 votes. The third candidate, Vak Chonmany, who runs a martial arts gym in town, secured just under 350 votes.

Sapelli and Cichetti will advance to the general election on Nov. 7 to replace Mayor Richard Cohen, who is not seeking reelection after serving eight terms as mayor, but is on the ballot for a spot on the City Council.

After hearing the results Tuesday night, each mayoral candidate listed different focal points going into the general. 

"The biggest message that we're sending out from our campaign, is basically that we need some civility," said Sapelli, who said personality clashes have gotten in the way of decision-making in local government. "We need people to be able to work together to get things accomplished."

Cichetti said he plans to focus largely on substance abuse and infrastructure.

"[We'll] continue to speak about our five-point opiate plan, our redevelopment authority for the community, [and] our blight issues in town," Cichetti said.

A total of 3,945 people voted in the election, which represents less than 19 percent of registered voters in town, according to data from the Agawam City Clerk's office. Earlier in the day, Agawam Clerk Vincent Gioscia said he expected a turnout of between 15 and 20 percent.