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    Sunday, June 23, 2024

    Groton voters decide school board, RTM races

    Groton ― Four Democrats and one Republican won four-year seats and a Democrat won a two-year seat on the Board of Education in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results from the town clerk.

    Democrats Ian Thomas, Adrian Johnson, Matthew Shulman and Jay Weitlauf, and Republican Jenn White won the five available four-year seats on the nine-member board. Shulman also won the one available two-year seat.

    Town Clerk Betsy Moukawsher said Shulman will have to resign from one of the seats, and the Board of Education after Dec. 5 will appoint a Democratic candidate to fill the vacated seat.

    In the race for the four-year seats, Thomas received 3,190 votes, Johnson received 3,172 votes, Shulman received 3,099 votes, Weitlauf received 3,009 votes, Democrat Robb Meade received 2,828 votes, White received 2,063 votes, and Republican John Scott received 1,738 votes.

    In the race for the two-year seat, Shulman received 2,639 votes and Scott received 1,471.

    Due to minority party representation rules governing the nine-member board, no more than six members can be from any one party. Since there are two seated Republicans and one seated Democrat whose terms expire in 2025, Democrats could be elected to no more than five seats in Tuesday’s election.

    Scott, the Republican town chairman, who did not win a seat, congratulated White, the highest Republican vote-getter.

    Voter turnout in Groton, which has 21,848 registered voters, was about 33%, according to the secretary of the state’s unofficial results.

    Voters on Tuesday also elected members of the Representative Town Meeting, which is subject to minority party representation rules. According to unofficial results from the town clerk, the following candidates were elected to the RTM:

    District 1: Democrats Lisa Luck, Roscoe Merritt, Joe Baril, Sheila Perry and Republicans Karin Adams and Tom Umrysz.

    District 2: Democrats Doris Pulaski, Jackie Massett, Sandra Fetters, Jean-Claude Ambroise and Republican Harry Watson.

    District 3: Democrats Michael Gardiner, Autumn Hanscom, Christy McElroy, and Beverly Herbert and Republican Marie Carmella Robertson.

    Neal Gardner, a Republican candidate in District 3, received 12 votes fewer than Robertson, which means there could have been a possible recount, but Gardner does not want a recount, according to the town clerk’s office.

    District 4: Democrats Chelsea Meade, Kristen Powers, Shawn Powers, Andrew Parrella, Lian Obrey and Jamie Veazie-Williams and Republican Robert Bailey. The district has three vacancies that will be filled by a caucus of RTM members from the district, according to Moukawsher.

    Due to minority representation rules, Democrats cannot be seated in the vacancies, according to Democratic Town Chairwoman Natalie Billing.

    District 5: Democrats Matt Ivey, Gary Welles, Mike Whitney and Juan Melendez Jr., and Republican Susan Deane-Shinbrot.

    District 6: Democrats Bill Keep, Rachael Franco, Paul Fox and Alfred Fritzsche and Republicans Emma Gibbs and Alexander Antipas.

    District 7: Democrats Clarence Casper, Emily Norman, Alexis Dudden and Sarah Kadden and Republican Lynn Crockett Hubbard.

    Merritt and Franco also were elected to the Town Council, so they will resign from the RTM seats they won, said Billing. She said the newly elected RTM members from that district, once seated, will hold a caucus to vote in a candidate of their party to fill the vacant seat.

    k.drelich@theday.com

    Editor’s Note: This version provides updated information that Neal Gardner does not want a recount.

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