Politics

The Boston City Council Candidate Who Lost by One Vote Won’t Challenge the Results

An intense recount has come to an end—and Boston has its first ever Latina City Councilor.


julia mejia alejandra st. guillen

Julia Mejia, left, and Alejandra St. Guillen. Photos via campaigns

Wow. Just, wow.

The biggest Boston City Council nail-biter in recent memory, which last night came down to a single vote has finally come to a close.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Alejandra St. Guillen, of West Roxbury, said she would accept the results of the recount that just wrapped up on Monday night and named Dorchester’s Julia Mejia the victor. The recount, which came after Mejia beat St. Guillen in the race for an at-large seat by fewer than a dozen votes, took place over several days and had led to legal squabbling over individual ballots that stretched into the evening. The final results showing the shocking result—again, a single, solitary, individual vote!—came in Monday night: 22,492 for Mejia, and 22,491 for St. Guillen.

Mejia and her team celebrated the results, and she reported Mayor Marty Walsh had called to congratulate her, but St. Guillen’s campaign had indicated it was considering yet another legal challenge, believing it may have been able to find five additional votes for the candidate. But as of Tuesday morning, the fight appears to be over.

“Last night, I  believed that I owed it to my supporters and the voters to fully review the results from the recount before moving forward. After weighing all the options with my team and my family, I have come to the decision to not move forward with a court challenge,” she wrote in a message on Twitter. “I am so grateful to every person who supported me over this last year in our campaign to build a better Boston for all. I am so proud of what we accomplished and, even though we came up short, I feel like we are all winners.”

Mejia and St. Guillen are not political rivals in the traditional sense. Both generally see eye-to-eye on issues, and had wide overlap among supporters. Either would have made history as the first Latina on the City Council. Despite the drawn-out battle over the results, they appear to get along: The pair was seen chatting together at City Hall Monday night as the final results were counted. In another tweet, St. Guillen congratulated her opponent “on running an inspiring campaign and showing us all what we can accomplish when we have the courage to walk in our power. I know you will be an excellent councilor and I am proud to have you represent me.”

Mejia, an activist born in the Dominican Republic, will join other at-large councilors Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty, and Annissa Essaibi George, who won re-election this year.