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Groton Democrats again sweep Town Council

Groton — For the second election in a row, Democrats swept the Town Council, fighting back challenges from Republicans in Tuesday's election.

The registrars said a total of 5,199 people voted, a 28 percent turnout.

Democrats held onto all nine seats on the council. Voters elected incumbent Democratic Town Councilors Aundré Bumgardner, with 3,047 votes; Rachael Franco, 2,860 votes; Patrice Granatosky, 2,969 votes; Conrad Heede, 2,545 votes; Lian Obrey, 2,932 votes; Juliette Parker, 2,752 votes, and Joe Zeppieri, 3,068 votes; and Portia Bordelon, 2,960 votes, who recently was appointed to the council, along with new Democratic council candidate Juan Melendez, 2,707 votes.

Councilor Rita Schmidt did not run for re-election.

For the Board of Education, voters elected incumbent Republicans Gretchen Newsome and Jay Weitlauf and incumbent Democrats Kim Shepardson Watson, the board's chair, and Rita Volkmann, along with new Democratic candidate Liz Porter. Due to minority representation rules, a maximum of three seats were available to Democrats.

Heede, who is the Democratic Town Committee chairman, said the results are exciting because voters see the progress Democrats have made and would like to see them continue it.

"The Board of Ed, the Town Council, and the RTM members have done a fantastic job and I’m really excited and humbled by the experience," Heede said.

Bumgardner attributed the Democrats' success to "doors, doors, doors," and said they have built coalitions in town, whether in working with environmental advocates on conservation and sustainability or working with people who care about the town's schools to shepherd the school project to the finish line.

“I think this is a wakeup call for Republicans in Groton that we need to work harder, but we’re here, we’re going to work on our strategy, and there’s elections coming up in two years and we’re going to be ready — more ready than we were this year,” Republican Town Committee Chairman Ken Richards said. “We congratulate the Democrats for their hard work and their retaining of the Council.”

For the Representative Town Meeting, Democratic candidates Sheila Perry, Wilmer Lambert, Ali Starkley (unaffiliated), and Roscoe Merritt, and Republicans Karin Adams and Kathy Chase were elected in District 1; Democrats Beverly Washington, Portia Bordelon, Syma A. Ebbin and Republican Eric Ossmann were elected in District 2; Democrats Dane Stevenson, Autumn Hanscom, Albert Colon, Jill Rusk and Republicans Taylor Salva and Chase Foster were elected in District 3; Democrats Michael Whitehouse, Shawn D. Powers, Nancy Driscoll and Kristen Powers, and Republicans David Gauthier, Robert Bailey and Lauren Gauthier were elected in District 4.

For District 5, Democratic candidates Melinda Cassiere, Gary Welles and Michael Whitney (unaffiliated), and Republicans Susan Deane-Shinbrot and Rosanne Kotowski were elected. Democrats Cindy Fortner, Jeanne Baker, Rachael Franco, Jim Gustavson and Kate Richards, and Republicans Thomas Frickman and Bruce Flax were elected in District 6.

For District 7, Democrats Jen Desillier-Fleming, Clarence Casper, Nancy Mello Miller and Bruce Jones and Republican Lynn Crockett Hubbard were elected. 

k.drelich@theday.com

Editor's Note: This version corrects the District 7 Representative Town Meeting winners.

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