New Bedford Voters Elect Shawn Oliver as Ward 3 Councilor
NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — Voters in New Bedford’s Ward 3 elected city constable and correctional officer Shawn Oliver Tuesday night as their next city councilor.
A total of 723 Ward 3 voters turned out for Tuesday’s election, with 414 voting for Oliver and 307 voting for his opponent, school administrator Carmen Amaral. The turnout in the ward was 6.83 percent.
Oliver, 39, celebrated his win at City Hall with his wife Emerald, sister Kelly, friend John White, mother Alfredina, and son Cannon. He said he was proud of his campaign and promised to represent all voters in the ward.
“To my voters, whether you voted for me or not, something I am going to continue to do every day is earn your vote,” Oliver said. “I thank you all and I look to bringing that level of friendship, reliability, and transparency.”
Oliver also expressed his appreciation for his rival. He said Amaral ran a strong campaign and understood the time and effort to run for office.
“I obviously know the hard work that gets put into running a campaign,” he said. “Congratulations on running an efficient campaign and being a formidable opponent.”
Armaral was not present at New Bedford City Hall on election night. In a comment on WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight, Amaral was noncommittal about running another campaign against Oliver when the seat is up for election again this fall.
She congratulated her opponent on his victory and thanked voters for their support.
“I love the city, I love its people,” Amaral said. “The Ward 3 residents who came out today, on a very snowy day, cast their ballots in a fair and democratic election. Congratulations to Shawn, but our work is not over. I am proud of it all.”
Oliver will sit for the remainder of the term of former Ward 3 councilor Hugh Dunn, who resigned in December to relocate closer to his work at the injury law firm Kelly & Associates in Boston.
During an appearance on WBSM’s SouthCoast Tonight, the city councilor-elect told Marcus Ferro he plans to run for a full term in November of this year.
As the newest councilor, Oliver said he seeks a good working relationship with New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell and his constituents.
He also plans to vote in favor of Carol Pimentel, who is Mitchell's nominee for the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech school board.
Pimentel's nomination has been put on hold for a month, with five councilors supporting her and five voting against her. With six votes needed to pass a nomination, Oliver's vote would fill the vacant spot on the board.
"As of right now, unless there is something that changes, that is something I plan on maintaining," Oliver said about his decision.
Oliver, who had never run a campaign a public campaign for office before, described his victory as akin to the story, The Little Engine That Could.
He said he spent his days on the campaign trail knocking on doors and convincing people who had never voted before to go to the polls.
"A lot of hard work went into this," Oliver said. "It proved true tonight."
The swearing-in ceremony will take place on March 3 at City Hall.