¡Wepa! Joshua Garcia, First Latino mayor of Holyoke

Hugo Balta


“First and foremost, we’re Holyokers,” Mayor-elect Joshua Garcia said to supporters. “Whether you’re white, Puerto Rican, Black” Garcia said, as people chimed in “Colombian! Costa Rican!”

“We’re all one,” he said.

History was made Tuesday night in Holyoke, where voters elected its first-ever Hispanic-Latino mayor.

Garcia beat Michael J. Sullivan 4,566-3,548 votes. Just over 30-percent of the city’s 27,354 registered voters cast ballots in the election. Garcia finished with 56-percent of the vote.

Garcia, 35-years-old, is a native son of The Paper City where the Hispanic-Latino population rose to 54-percent of all residents, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. 

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Garcia told WGGB/WSHM his first step as mayor will be to stabilize municipal offices.

“We have some empty positions and other folks, from what I hear, are looking forward to retire soon, so we want to be sure we have a transition plan for to fill in those roles,” Garcia said.

His next step will be to layout a budget plan for the next fiscal year.

Garcia, 35, was born and raised in South Holyoke and identifies as Puerto Rican.

He got a master’s degree in public administration from Westfield State University and has served as Blandford’s town administrator since 2018.

Garcia lives in the Oakdale neighborhood with his wife Stefany and two children, twins Ethan and Allison.

He will be sworn in on November 15.