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Obama congratulates Newton's mayor-elect

Posted by Leslie Anderson  November 6, 2009 11:23 AM

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Fresh from his election as Newton’s first African-American mayor, Setti Warren received a congratulatory phone call this week from President Obama, a Warren staffer said today.

Campaign consultant Deborah Shah said Obama called Warren Wednesday evening to congratulate him on his victory.

‘‘They talked about the race, they talked about running a grass-roots campaign, building a coalition of people who support you,’’ Shah said.

Shah said Warren told the president that he modeled his campaign on Obama’s and that, as in Obama’s and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s successful endeavors, Warren did not frame his own campaign in terms of race.

‘‘Setti said that he was very proud that his city, like the state and the nation, was coming together and looking beyond race to the challenges that we face,’’ Shah said.

Shah said Warren and Obama met each other at a rally during Obama’s presidential campaign.

Warren, a former aide to US Senator John F. Kerry and Bill Clinton, narrowly defeated veteran state Representative Ruth Balser for the job vacated by three-term Newton Mayor David Cohen, who was not seeking reelection.

Warren announced his transition team today at a press conference at his former campaign headquarters, now command post as he prepares to move to City Hall in January. Steve Grossman, a candidate for state treasurer and former chairman of the state and national Democratic parties who endorsed Balser’s campaign, will serve as an informal adviser.

Calvin Hennick can be reached at calvinhennick@yahoo.com.

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