Newton Election 2023: Voters oust rezoning advocates

Newton voters voting.

Newton voters ushered in sweeping change for the City Council on Tuesday, in what amounted to a bloodbath for village center rezoning advocates.

Many of the candidates endorsed by the “Save Newton Villages” group—a local movement formed in opposition to the Village Center Overlay District proposal—won seats and a couple of incumbents who have promoted the proposal have lost theirs.

Holly Ryan, Ward 8 city councilor and first transgender city council member elected in Massachusetts, lost her seat to retired political organizer Stephen Farrell.

“Losing this seat is a painful blow for my Trans community but no one can take away our historic win four years ago,” Ryan posted on X (formerly Twitter) Tuesday night. “I wish Councilor-elect Farrell food luck.”

David Micley won a seat representing Ward 2, defeating Dan Gaynor. Retired child welfare administrator Randy Block won the Ward 4 council seat race against retired academic librarian Doris Ann Sweet.

Retired physician Alan Lobovits has unseated Ward 6 Councilor-At-Large Alicia Bowman, and Ward 5 Councilor-At-Large Deb Crossley, chair of the Zoning and Planning Committee, lost her seat to Rena Getz.

Micley, Farrell, Block, Getz, and Lobovits were all endorsed by “Save Newton Villages.” One candidate “Save Newton Villages” backed who lost was Lisa Gordon, in the race for the Ward 6 seat. Activist Martha Bixby won that seat.

And in a year where the stakes were high, the turnout was pretty low. Out of 59,654 registered voters in Newton, only 14,559 cast ballots in this municipal election. That’s just below 25 percent turnout. In contrast, Newton historically has a much higher turnout for state and federal elections.

Below is a list of contested races and how many votes each candidate received, according to unofficial results posted by the city. For a complete list of candidates and results, included those in uncontested races, visit the Newton city website.


Ward 2

Ward 4

Ward 6

Ward 8


Ward 5 At-Large

Ward 6 At-Large