WILMINGTON – Despite election bids by several long shot candidates, including one write-in candidate, incumbents ruled the ballots Tuesday in the annual town election. Turnout was just over 22 percent in both the primary and the town elections.
In the Selectmen race, Mike Newhouse and Lou Cimaglia both won re-election handily with 2,692 and 2,697 votes respectively. Challenger Kevin MacDonald earned just 574 votes, followed by Daniel Murphy with 513. There were 644 blank votes cast in the election, and 14 write-in candidates. Interestingly, Daniel Murphy did not vote in this election, despite having his name on the ballot.
In the School Committee race, which had three seats up and only two incumbents seeking re-election, Peggy Kane and Kathleen Carroll were overwhelmingly re-elected with 2,278 and 2,054 votes respectively. Newcomer Julie Broussard captured 1,769 votes and the open seat vacated by Robert Hayes. Challengers Jennifer Spear and Donna Leone earned 1,232 and 868 votes respectively. Michael Bodnar, who ran a write-in campaign, had just 58 write-ins.
Blank votes played a larger role in the School Committee race with 2,442 being cast -- more blanks than any single candidate earned, showing that many voters opted to vote for one or two candidates of the three.
Robert DiPasquale ran unopposed for the Housing Authority and earned 2,710 votes and Robert Peterson earned 2,828 votes in his unopposed bid for Shawsheen Vocational Technical School Committee.
In the State Primary election for U. S. Senate, Representative Stephen Lynch beat out Representative Ed Markey with 1,325 votes to 1,054 on the Democrat ticket in Wilmington, despite the opposite results statewide. On the Republican side, Wilmington’s vote paralleled the state results with Gabriel Gomez earning 627 votes to Michael Sullivan’s 388 and Dan Winslow’s 114.
The candidates spoke with the Crier after the results came into Town Hall.
Lou Cimaglia wanted to thank his wife and kids and “all the supporters and voters,” especially those that offered yards for his campaign signs. He said he is looking forward to seeing the high school through as well as the Yentile Farm project, and continuing the record of “fiscal responsibility.”
Mike Newhouse also thanked his family and “most of all, my wife, Jo” as well as friends, supports, and residents. He offered special thanks to his sister, Lynn, and Marianne Gallezzo who operate his law office.
“They manage to keep the office running smoothly while I’m attending to town business,” praised Newhouse. He, too, has the high school, the Yentile farm project, and the tax rate on his agenda. “Just staying the course and continuing to be able to offer services in town without user fees.”
“I’m feeling good,” said Julie Broussard immediately after her win was clear. “Thanks to all the supporters, family, and friends for coming out and holding signs today.”
“I’ve got to do lots of homework and get up to speed,” said Broussard of her priorities in the coming weeks.
Peggy Kane said that she “loves being at the polls, spending the day seeing people you haven’t seen in a long time. Everybody is happy to be doing their civic duty.” On her agenda in the immediate future, is working on the new teacher evaluation tool and concentrating on making that a smooth transition for the district.
Kathleen Carroll offered her thanks to the Wilmington community, “They’re great supporters, I wouldn’t be there without them.”
Her goals are to keep moving forward with the new high school and “keep up the good education in Wilmington.” She says she would like to see more work on preventing bullying in the district and is interested in hearing more from parents of students with special needs to help them better “flourish in the schools.”
Donna Leone, a newcomer to the race, was proud of her results and said she “did it on my own.” She plans to continue to advocate for her beliefs and the kids in Wilmington and will run again in 2014.
A Wilmington High School senior and poll volunteer, Confrey Bagayao, spent the afternoon and evening checking voters in and out of the primary election, and counted both democrat and republican ballots after polls closed.
“It was actually a lot of fun, everyone who helped with the voting was really nice,” said Bagayao, who can use the volunteer hours toward his community service requirement for graduation at the high school. “The person I was working with taught me a lot about the process and I know a lot more about politics now.”
He said he would recommend the experience to other students looking for community service credit adding that “it won’t make you tired and you’ll get to make friends with new people.”