Well the voters of Manchester spoke last night and one might say they were of many minds. In a campaign that saw a twelve percent increase in the number of ballots cast over the last election, many results came as a surprise, while others not so much. (Click here for citywide results. Click here for ward by ward results.)
In the race for mayor, four term incumbent Ted Gatsas went down to defeat at the hands of former Ward One alderman and school board member Joyce Craig on a vote of twelve thousand fifty three to ten thousand five hundred fifty four; a margin of fifty three to forty seven percent. A surprise? To some, perhaps. With voter tallies up significantly in Republican strongholds and other wards considered fiscally conservative and reports of significant numbers of elderly voters casting ballots, the indicators seemed to point toward another result.
In Ward One:
Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh defeated former Ward Three school board member Christopher Stewart eighteen oh nine to thirteen twenty eight, a margin of fifty eight to forty two percent.
School board member Sarah Ambrogi defeated former State Rep. Joe Lachance seventeen eighty two to eleven hundred fifteen, or sixty one and a half to thirty eight and a half percent.
In Ward Two:
Will Stewart defeated Bob O’Sullivan thirteen hundred four to nine hundred thirty eight, fifty eight to forty two percent, in the race for alderman.
Incumbent school board member Debra Gagnon Langton lost by just twenty two votes to David Scannell, a former executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, one thousand sixty nine to one thousand forty seven. Langton’s contemplating a recount, which her supporters are encouraging her to ask for.
In Ward Three:
Alderman Patrick Long came up six votes short in his reelection bid against Tim Baines, son of the former mayor, who won with a tally of five hundred twenty nine to five hundred twenty three. Expect a recount.
In the school board race, incumbent Mary Georges handily defeated challenger Phillip Harris five hundred sixty three to three hundred thirty nine.
Ward Four gave us one of the big surprises of the night.
After coming in a distant second in the primary, Alderman Christopher Herbert won reelection over Steve Mathieu on a count of six hundred eighty eight, or fifty three point six percent to five hundred ninety six, or forty six point four percent.
School board member Leslie Want defeated challenger Mark Flanders in a rematch. That vote count was six hundred eighty two to five hundred ninety tw0. The percentages were identical to the aldermanic race.
In Ward 5:
Alderman Tony Sapienza crushed over no-show challenger Cameron Barr five hundred ninety four to two hundred thirty one.
School board member Lisa Freeman posted a solid win over former at-Large school board member Kathy Staub four hundred fifty four or fifty four percent to three hundred ninety three, or forty six percent.
In Ward Six, where we get some clues about the nature of the turnout:
Incumbent Alderman Elizabeth Ann Moreau barely survived the rematch with Peter Macone whom she handily defeated in September’s special election, one thousand one hundred fifty three votes to one thousand one hundred twenty eight. At fifty point five percent to forty nine point five percent, don’t be surprised if there’s a recount.
Incumbent Dan Bergeron bested newcomer Jon DiPietro by a mere fifty votes, eleven hundred forty three to one thousand ninety three. In percentages, that one’s fifty one to forty nine.
In Ward Seven:
Incumbent Alderman Bill Shea received fifty five percent of the vote to newcomer Brenda Noiseux’s forty five percent, eight hundred forty nine to seven hundred three.
School board member Ross Terrio easily turned back a challenge from Ethan Moorhouse, despite an onslaught of mail against him in the last week, with sixty three percent of the vote on a count of eight hundred eighty nine to five hundred sixteen.
In Ward Eight, both newcomers won and both races provided some turnout clues, too.
John Cataldo defeated former Alderman and State Senator Betsy DeVries twelve hundred seventy four to one thousand ninety seven, fifty three point five percent to forty six point five.
Jimmy Lehoux won his rematch with Erika Connors for school board with fifty three percent of the vote, one thousand two hundred fourteen to one thousand ninety three.
Connors did however win the special election for state representative, besting newcomer Albert MacArthur, Jr. by just twenty votes, eleven hundred ninety eight to one thousand one hundred seventy eight. MacArthur has said he will file the recount papers today.
In Ward Nine:
Alderman Barbara Shaw is clinging to a twenty three vote victory over former Fire Chief James Burkush, nine hundred twenty four to nine hundred one. That’s recount territory.
School member Arthur Beaudry was unopposed.
In Ward Ten, incumbents handily won.
Alderman Bill Barry defeated former State Eep. Tammy Simmons one thousand thirty nine to seven hundred fourteen.
School board member John Avard bested newcomer Thomas McGee nine hundred eighteen to six hundred forty eight.
Ward Eleven served up one of the night’s big surprises.
Alderman Normand Gamache narrowly won reelection over former Alderman Russ Ouellette despite placing a relative distant second in the primary. With five hundred sixty eight votes, Gamache received just under fifty two percent of the vote. Ouellette received five hundred twenty eight votes, or just over forty eight percent.
School board member Kate Desrochers easily defeated no-show challenger Alexander Avery seven forty three to two sixty two.
Ward Twelve kept one incumbent and tossed another.
Alderman Keith Hirschmann survived the aggressive onslaught of Hassan Essa and the Democratic Party with a vote tally of eight hundred sixty three to seven hundred ninety five. That’s another fifty two, forty eight race.
Newcomer Kelly Thomas scored a solid win over school board incumbent Constance Van Houten with fifty three and a half percent of the vote. Thomas tallied eight hundred twenty two votes to Van Houten’s seven hundred fourteen.
Keno also passed really big as did maintaining the city’s current flag.
Note well, these are the unofficial machine counts. The official results, which are expected today, will include votes from any ballots that had to be counted by hand for whatever reason.
That’s NEWS from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!