FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The stage is officially set for this fall’s Fall River mayoral election.
Incumbent Mayor Paul Coogan and former Mayor Sam Sutter were the two winners in Tuesday’s preliminary election.
Unofficial results from the city Board of Elections show Coogan earned 60% of the vote, while Sutter trailed behind with approximately 35% of the vote. In raw numbers, Coogan got 4,285 votes while Sutter received 2,516.
The third mayoral candidate, Michael Vandal, was knocked out of contention after receiving nearly 5% of the vote.
Coogan has been mayor since January 2020. He had won in a landslide against disgraced then-Mayor Jasiel Correia the previous November, then won reelection in 2021.
The incumbent mayor previously served on the Fall River School Committee and was a teacher in the city’s public school system for more than 30 years.
Coogan argues he has given the city steady leadership following the tumult of the Correia years, and has touted endorsements from other leaders including former Gov. Charlie Baker and Congressman Jake Auchincloss.
Meanwhile, Sutter is hoping to win the office once again. He served as mayor for just over a year back in 2015 after defeating then-Mayor Will Flanagan in a recall election, only to lose to Correia the following fall.
Prior to that, Sutter served as the Bristol County district attorney from 2007 until he submitted his resignation at the start of 2015.
Sutter points to successes during his brief first tenure as mayor, including progress on the efforts to get Amazon and Market Basket into Fall River, and has suggested Coogan isn’t bringing enough energy to the job.
Voters will decide between the two candidates when they head to the polls on Nov. 7.