Incumbents try to hold off newcomer in Belmont City Council race

Incumbents David Braunstein and Christine Wozniak were hoping to retain their City Council seats in Belmont on Tuesday night.Incumbents David Braunstein and Christine Wozniak were hoping to retain their City Council seats in Belmont on Tuesday night.

Two incumbents tried to keep their Belmont City Council seats Tuesday night, but unofficial results showed one in a comfortable lead and another fighting for the job.

Incumbent David Braunstein appeared on his way to a second term on the five-member council, while Christine Wozniak’s second term was being challenged by Eric Reed.

Wozniak hoped another four years would allow her to see various projects through to completion, including the soon-to-be independent Fire Department. Braunstein stressed the benefits of his strong relationship with Notre Dame de Namur University and also prioritized improving community ties to stop the city’s spate of burglaries.

The three challengers included two political newcomers — Paul Brownlee and Reed — and one returning candidate from the 2009 election, Michael McGuinness.

Brownlee said his focus would be on making sure the proposed high-speed railroad system runs along U.S. Highway 101 and not the existing Caltrain tracks to prevent the railway from further dividing the town.

Reed said he would focus on economic development and “new ideas” for the city’s downtown area. Before the election, he called himself an independent thinker. Although he has not run for political office prior to this election, he was appointed to the Belmont Planning Commission in 2008.

McGuinness, however, had tried his hand in politics before. He ran for one of three city council seats in 2009 and finished last out of five candidates.

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