CENTRAL FALLS — Having emerged from bankruptcy, ready to shake off the one-man rule of state receivership and the nearly decade-long administration of a disgraced mayor who is headed to jail on a corruption charge, this tiny, poverty-ridden city signaled it is ready for a new beginning Tuesday by electing its first Latino mayor, native son James Diossa, who defeated Joseph Moran, the popular former police chief, 62 to 38 percent in a special election.
The unofficial tally from the Board of Canvassers office was 1076 votes for Diossa to 650 for Moran. There were 499 mail ballots applied for and as of last night just fewer than 400 had been returned to the state Board of Elections. Those votes will be counted today but are not expected to change the outcome.
Only 1,726 voters turned out to the polls, almost exactly half the record turnout of 3,435 who voted in the five-candidate primary held on Nov. 6, on the same day as the presidential election. Diossa and Moran were the top two vote-getters in that race, qualifying them for Tuesday’s run-off.
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