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Mayor Christenson rolls in reelection to a 4th term

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Incumbent is victorious by a more than 2-to-1 margin in big win


By Steve Freker


MALDEN – With over 200 supporters reveling in a historic campaign victory Tuesday night, here is how Malden Mayor Gary Christenson described how he would celebrate the big win the following day.  “I will have you know I have meetings on various city matters at 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 o’clock and 7 o’clock tomorrow evening,” the mayor told them as they listened with rapt attention. “Those meetings represent the progress our city has made and will continue to make.”

While some in the audience may have chuckled over this “agenda-ized” summary, they knew it was all true. Supporters say the industriousness of the man who will equal the longevity mark for serving in the City of Malden’s top post at the end of the upcoming term is unquestioned in these parts.

Malden voters apparently acknowledged this and other facets of Mayor Christenson’s 12 years at the helm on Election Day. On Tuesday voters reelected him to an unprecedented fourth, four-year term on Election Day by a nearly three-to-one margin, the biggest win of his four-election history.

“I thank my family, my staff and all of my constituents for this show of support,” Mayor Christenson told those gathered at Anthony’s of Malden on Election Night, after his reelection was announced. “I promise I will continue to give you my all.”

Christenson’s victory, according to the unofficial results released by the Malden City Clerk’s Office shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday, showed an overwhelming victory where the incumbent received 5,530 votes to 2,087 for the challenger, first-time candidate Lissette Aracely Alvarado. Christenson won every precinct in the city, in all eight Wards, on Tuesday, a resounding 71-28 percent win, his largest victory in the three contested races he has won in his four mayoral elections. He ran unopposed once, in 2015.

He was first elected mayor in 2011 with a 68-31 percent win over then Councillor-at-Large Deborah Fallon. In the last mayoral election in 2019, he defeated former City Councillor John Matheson in a 59-40 percent victory.

Despite a contested mayoral election and beautiful weather, it was a light turnout overall. Just 20.7 percent of Malden’s registered voters cast ballots in this election, with 7,918 voters from the highest pool of potential voters in city history, just over 38,000.

“Malden has changed, and we have changed with it,” Mayor Christenson said Tuesday night, with a nod to Malden’s increasing diversity, with the newest city census showing this city had become a “majority minority” community for the first time in history. Some 49 percent of the city’s population reports their first language is not English.

“One thing that I know for sure is that our record of results and success, building on Malden’s strong past and proud future, is what led us to victory tonight,” he added.

Mayor Christenson thanked his family and staff for all of their hard work throughout the successful campaign, giving special note and thanks to his campaign director, former School Committeeman Adam Weldai and field director Harrison Zeiberg, a recent Wheaton College graduate who is also a 2019 Malden High School grad.

“Some said it was time for a change. Some said it was time for a new leader. Some said it was time to go in a different direction. But it looks like some in this room did not agree,” Mayor Christenson said in acknowledging his supporters. “I could not be more honored to serve again as mayor of our great city.

“I can’t thank you enough for reaffirming your faith in us and giving me this honor of a lifetime,” the mayor added.

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