After all the campaigning, debating, politicking, and - most important - poll stuffing, Richie Gormley is the mayor of West Roxbury.
"It’s an honor and I’m humbled to be elected," said the soft-spoken Gormley, who served in the 1st Marine Division in the Vietnam War, after which he received the "Cross of Gallantry" for combat action.
Long before internet polls, West Roxbury residents called Richie Gormley the mayor of West Roxbury - actually Lord Mayor. So it is only fitting Gormley won West Roxbury Patch's: .
Gormley took home 2,112 votes (33%), with Mary Mulvey Jacobson receiving 2,032 votes (32%), and Tony Saroufim taking third with 805 votes (12%). In total 6,254 votes were cast for the nine official nominees, and a cast of write-in votes.
When asked why people have always called him the mayor in West Roxbury, Gormley said he does not know where the nickname originated.
While Gormley's win is official, he's not an official goverment official - so for those people who have called asking him to fix potholes (seriously this has happened already) - you should still call the Mayor's 24-hour hotline at 617-635-4500 - or continue to contact nominee Mary Mulvey Jacobson.
Also, the real elected mayor for all of Boston - - called Gormley to congratulate him on Wednesday night, despite the official results of the unscientific poll not being announced officially until this article.
Said Menino, "What can you say about Richie Gormley except that he is very quietly one of the most generous people around. It’s fitting that he would receive such an honor because he has helped so many people in West Roxbury and many of them don’t even know it. He’s a great guy."
Gormley also quickly dismissed any notion of running against Menino. "He’s a personal friend of mine, so I would never run against Tom Menino. And he is also unbeatable, and will probably run again for a sixth term."
He did say Menino and he laughed about the poll, but would not share what was so funny between the two mayors. Added Gormley, "That’s personal. Personal."
Gormley reminisced about his time spent visiting Europe with Menino. Gormley, owner of , who attended and the , before joining the Marine Corps, said they went on a few tours of Rome together. "I went to Italy with him and his beautiful wife, Angela."
Former West Roxbury District Councilor John Tobin spoke about Gormley, "My feeling is that results of the Patch of West Roxbury poll has confirmed what every elected official has feared about Richie Gormley - if he put his name on a real ballot - it wouldn’t even be close."
"There is not a more generous person who does it in a more quiet way than Richie Gormley," said Tobin. He added Gormley and his family have touched many people through acts of kindness and generosity through the years. Gormley has often given work to unemployed residents at the funeral home. "He doesn’t trumpet about it, so it wouldn’t make him a good politician. He's done it very quietly and is a real generous soul. He risked his life for country in Vietnam. He’s just a fabulous person, he's not just about making money, but being a part of the community and making others a part of the community as well."
Tobin said Gormley is associated with every civic event in the Parkway area, "His name might not be on the masthead, but he’s associated with it in some shape or form."
For many of the nominees, the fake election broke through barriers such as age, cultural backgrounds and parishes. In the comments section of the article, O'Brien openly voted for TD, and not nominee Mike O'Brien.
Many people called the funeral home to say they voted for Gormley, except for someone from Guam, who called to say he wanted to vote for Gormley, but that polling had closed.
"A lot of friends were calling me up to say they voted for me. And my older friends, my age bracket aren’t into computers and don’t know how to log on. I'm sorry they don’t have access to computers. It's a whole new ballgame today," said Gormley.
Fellow nominee, Tom "TD" Dougherty, congratulated Gormley, and also to go full steam for the Gormley Train. Said Gormley, "Not only is TD a personal friend of mine, he also works for me."
Second-place winner (but all of the nominees are winners, including all write-in votes) Mary Mulvey Jacobson congratulated Gormley, too.
Jacobson said she knew she had lost after the Irish radio program the "Irish Hit Parade" announced Gormley had won the poll during Saturday and Sunday broadcasts.
"I’m delighted for him. I threw myself 100% into this race. But I knew in my heart that Richie Gormley is the unofficial mayor of West Roxbury. I was thrilled, honored really, to be associated with all those great people."
Jacobson said people have been calling Gormley the Lord Mayor of West Roxbury for years. She said that similar to official installments in Ireland in which a priest reads a prayer, and the elected person wears chains - she is on the case to find these two necessary ingredients for a swearing in ceremony.
Jacobson, the president of the , and much, much more, reflected on how the fake election changed her life, "How has it changed my life? It really made me focus on how wonderful people are in West Roxbury. I’m never going to take it for granted."
"I am really not upset about the outcome. Richie is a great guy. He’s a great friend of mine for years," she added cheerfully.
And while Gormley and Jacobson both had their hearts set on winning, other nominees were happy just to be nominated.
"Yeah….I broke the double digit vote barrier : )," emailed Stephen Smith. "I knew picking a sloth as the campaign mascot was the way to go : ) Maybe the winner can treat the rest of us to a round at the ."
The Corrib, Mr. Smith? Oh, no. West Roxbury Patch is planning something much bigger! Stay tuned to West Roxbury Patch for a major announcement about a March event involving Richie Gormley - the mayor of West Roxbury.
Added Gormley, "I'd like to thank the Patch for organizing these events and I'm looking forward to inviting everybody to my inauguration on March 30th."