ATTLEBORO: Three-term Mayor [Kai Shang], 66, placed second in preliminary balloting last month to Judith H. Robbins, 54, a former city councilor and former board member of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Robbins topped Shang 45 percent to 29 percent in the three-candidate race. Robbins has said Shang has served long enough and that he allowed budget cuts to hit the schools disproportionately. Shang, who said he is the highest-ranking elected official of Chinese descent in the Northeast, said his veto last month that blocked placement of a $713,000 Proposition 2 1/2 override on the ballot makes him "the taxpayers' choice."
[Lynn]: Three-term Mayor [Albert V. DiVirgilio], 49, faces Councilor Patrick J. McManus, 37, a local lawyer, certified public accountant and real estate investor. McManus topped DiVirgilio in preliminary balloting in September. DiVirgilio has since gone on the attack, saying McManus is tied to special interests, including the city's firefighters' union, a longtime DiVirgilio foe. McManus says DiVirgilio has provided no leadership in financial affairs and engaged in personal squabbles.
MELROSE: Mayor James E. Milano's decision not to seek reelection after 20 years in office has led to a lively four-way mayoral contest. Melrose does not hold a preliminary election to reduce its field of candidates. The contestants include two members of the Board of Aldermen, Susan M. Kelleher, 55, and John (Red) Murphy, 59, and political newcomers Richard D. Lyons, 50, and George A. Farr, 54. Kelleher, an account manager for a Boston architectural firm, and Lyons, a health care consultant and local real estate appraiser, have criticized each other. Kelleher has sought to brand Lyons as an insider and friend of developers, while Lyons has accused Kelleher of making "dishonest and misleading" campaign statements. He has also said Kelleher would cut spending mindlessly. Murphy is a retired New England Telephone manager. Farr, a Melrose firefighter, is alone among the candidates in backing a Proposition 2 1/2 override that would restore jobs in the Fire Department.