Rep. William H. Boner (D-Tenn.), who has never lost an election, defeated millionaire businessman Phil Bredesen yesterday in the nonpartisan runoff for mayor of Nashville with 53 percent of the vote.

In Boston, Mayor Raymond L. Flynn and City Council member Joseph Tierney finished one-two in the city's nonpartisan primary and were expected to advance to the Nov. 3 election.

With all 252 precincts reported, Flynn had about 70 percent and Tierney had 27 percent.

In Abraham Lincoln's hometown of Springfield, Ill., two blacks were advancing toward a runoff and the certainty of being the first of their race on the town council since 1901.

The two Democrats spent millions in their nonpartisan race for mayor of Nashville. Ten days before the election, the total had reached $3.7 million.

In the Aug. 6 election, Boner, a Nashville native, got 46 percent of the 149,000 votes cast, and Bredesen, who moved to Nashville 12 years ago and was a hospital executive, got 35 percent in an eight-candidate field.

Bredesen made an issue of a federal grand jury investigation of Boner's finances, which did not result in an indictment. Misconduct allegations are pending before a House ethics panel. Boner said his opponent had not voted in a Nashville election since arriving in the city, which Bredesen confirmed.

Election officials in Boston expected no more than 30 percent of the city's 207,000 registered voters to cast ballots yesterday.

Flynn's popularity, as measured by opinion polls, and the city's strong economy were expected to give him a first-place finish.

Tierney has spent 16 years on the City Council, 10 of them as its president. The two other mayoral candidates were Joel San Juan and Richard A. Black, a follower of Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.

The primary in Springfield narrowed the field of more than 70 candidates seeking five citywide posts and 10 seats on the new City Council. The top two finishers in each race will meet in the Nov. 3 general election.

The elections are part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit by black residents who challenged, under the federal Voting Rights Act, the city's commission form of government.

Eight blacks were on the ballot as aldermanic candidates. In Ward 2, where all four candidates were black, state university official Leroy Jordan had 44 percent of the vote and Democratic activist Frank McNeil had 46 percent with about half of the ballots counted.

The city currently is run by a mayor and four commissioners, all elected at-large. Under the settlement, council members will be selected by districts.