East Bridgewater: Annual election results are in

East Bridgewater will be moving forward with a new Selectman and two new School Committee members after 1,124 residents cast their vote at the annual town election on Saturday.

Town Clerk Dina Livingston said this year’s turnout was higher than last year’s.

“I would consider it high for an annual town election,” Livingston said, “Last year we didn’t have the contested races that we have this year…a contested race in the Selectman’s Office and School Committee, which generally brings out more voters.”

William Dowling is now the newest member of the East Bridgewater Board of Selectmen after he beat Brian Connors at the polls 796 to 305.

Dowling said the voters sent a message that there needs to be a change in the way they “do business” in town.

“It feels good, I’m glad it was a big win, and I’m thankful for all my supporters that came out,” Dowling said.

Dowling added that it will be a little bit of a “learning curve” coming onto the Board. “After that I think it’s just trying to get all the different boards working together,” he said, “And get qualified people on the different boards rather than friends of friends.”

Dowling will be serving a 3-year term with the Selectmen.

Gordon McKinnon and Ellen Pennington are the newest members of the School Committee.

McKinnon came out on top with 588 votes, and Pennington was a close second with 581.

McKinnon said he was appointed to the Committee in October, and this election will probably take a little while to “sink in.”

“It feels great, I’m happy to have that part done, and now get onto all the hard work,” McKinnon said, “As hard as this was, there’s more important work to do.”

McKinnon added that the number one priority for the Committee right now is the budget.

“After that, we’re looking at next year and the start of the new year,” McKinnon said, “I think I’m taking the budget first and we’ll go from there.”

McKinnon and Pennington will both be serving 3-year terms on the Committee.

Four candidates ran for the two available seats on the Committee: McKinnon, Pennington, Valerie Mason, and Jonathan White.

All other races in the election were uncontested: Robert Looney for Moderator, Curis Gluck for Assessor, Sandra Luddy-Ross for Housing Authority, Eric Averill for Trustees of Public Library, Marcia Weidenfeller to fill a 1-year vacancy of Trustees of Public Library, Peter Spagone for Board of Health, and Roy Gardner, David Johnson, and William Nolan for Planning Board.

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About Samantha Tracey

Samantha Tracey graduated from Salem State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. She has been reporting on local issues in a variety of towns: Bridgewater, Abington, Carver, Weymouth, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Halifax, etc. She says growing up on the South Shore has made it interesting now to be covering news in such familiar places.