By Joe Durwin On: 10:17PM / Tuesday September 27, 2011
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Voters will select between Daniel Bianchi and Peter Marchetti for mayor come November.
Bianchi, who narrowly lost the 2009 election by some 200 votes to incumbent Mayor James Ruberto, came out on top with 3,430 votes, or 49 percent of those cast in the city's seven wards.
Next in line was Marchetti, a four-term city councilor, with 2,759, or 39.4 percent.
Mood at the Bianchi celebration at Mazzeo's Ristorante was pleased and unsurprised by his nearly 700-vote lead.
The candidate joked that "I'm still not sure if my daughter voted for Steve Fillio" and said third-place candidate Joseph Nichols had pledged to support him.
Nichols and Melissa Mazzeo, both whom are often in the voting minority together, were both in attendance.
Bianchi and Marchetti were the front-runners going into the five-way race, although some thought that Nichols, a local businessman finishing up his first term on the council, might cut into their leads. Nichols ended with 691 votes, barely 10 percent.
Marchetti, with supporters at the Itam Club where he launched his campaign a few months back, said he's ready to start the real race. Supporters seemed surprised at his second-place showing but committed to the campaign, including Ruberto, City Councilor Peter White and state representative candidate Tricia Farley-Bouvier.
"I'm happy to be a winner tonight, and we'll continue to fight until November 8," said Marchetti.
Trailing far behind were past mayoral candidates Stephen Fillio with 77 votes (1 percent) and Donna Walto with 44 (.6).
Unlike in North Adams, voters selected only one candidate.
Ward 4 voters had their own preliminary election to select two candidates who will try to replace outgoing Councilor Michael Ward.
They picked last election's challenger to Ward, Christopher Connell, with 610 votes and former ward representative Ozias "Chuck" Vincelette with 523. Left out was newcomer James Brosnan with 346 votes.
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The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015
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