SPRINGFIELD — A newcomer to the political game, but a lifelong resident of Springfield,Adam Gomez was elected Tuesday to the Ward 1 City Council seat.
Gomez ousted incumbent Zaida Luna who has held the position since 2008. Both camps confirmed that Gomez had won in every precinct, although, the Springfield election website did not immediately reflect that fact.
Gomez owns Brightwood Press Company, a printing and marketing business. The 32-year-old is an elected member of the New North Citizens Council and a member of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee.
Before owning his own company, Gomez worked for the YMCA and the Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center, run by his father Gumersindo Gomez, the executive director of the center and one of the founders of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade.
Gomez was endorsed by Neighbor to Neighbor, an organization that encourages voter registration civic engagement.
“Congratulations to Adam Gomez, and congratulations to Springfield for ushering in a new era of vitality and prosperity!” cheered Neighbor to Neighbor members at the victory party held at the Biergarten.
Zaida Luna, who was elected in 2008, faced off against Gomez for the Ward 1 seat which encompasses all of the North End and downtown Springfield.
Luna is a retired social worker who joined the “Wason 11,” a group of residents who placed a lawsuit against the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, the state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance and Wason Avenue Partners in order to prevent the relocation of the Western Massachusetts Correctional Alcohol Center.
Luna said she felt it was right to stand with the residents on the issue of the correctional facility.
The incumbent councilor had touted her experience on the council as a reason to re-elect her. Luna, who is Puerto Rican, became the first Hispanic woman to serve on the council and is one of three Hispanic councilors, the others being Orlando Ramos and Clodo Concepcion. Luna was also the first to represent Ward 1 when ward representation became a reality in 2008.