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Republicans sweep Wilbraham Annual Town Election

Date: 5/29/2012

May 28, 2012

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM — Republicans carried the day in contested races in a sweeping victory in the May 19 Annual Town Election.

"The Republican Town Committee got behind every candidate who won in the election," John McCarthy of the Republican Town Committee told Reminder Publications. "It was certainly a good day for our committee."

Wilbraham is one of the few remaining towns that host partisan elections, he explained.

"It is something that makes us unique," McCarthy said. "It's a rare thing these days."

Robert Russell defeated Democrat Russell Mitchell soundly in the race for the Board of Selectmen seat vacated by Patrick Brady, who did not run for re-election. Russell captured 853 votes, while Mitchell garnered 299.

Marc Ducey and Michelle Emirizian, both of whom were endorsed by the Republican Town Committee, received more than 600 votes apiece for two open three-year terms on the School Committee, ousting Democratic incumbent Gilles Turcotte.

Ducey led all vote getters with 684 votes, while Emirizian followed closely with 652. Turcotte received 412 votes while James Wilkinson, who was beaten out by Ducey and Emirizian for endorsement at the Republican Caucus on March 28, took 246 votes.

Republican challenger David Sanders squeaked by Democratic incumbent Dean Stroshine for a five-year seat on the Planning Board in what proved to be the tightest race of the day. Sanders took 567 votes, while Stroshine received 523 votes.

McCarthy said he felt the results and those of other recent elections were a strong indication of where the town stood politically.

"In this district, the 12th Hampden District, 58 percent of the population voted for Scott Brown [for U.S. Senate], so I would say this is a town that tends to trend toward Republicans," he said. "If you look at our voter registration numbers, you will see that the number of Republicans in town is higher than you might find in other communities."

McCarthy lauded the committee on its visibility in support of its candidates on Election Day and the days leading up to it.

"On Election Day the committee was out there all day in support of the candidates. We actually had one person who took it upon himself to call people and remind them to vote," he said.

McCarthy said while the support of the committee helped, the candidates were heavily active in the community in the weeks leading up the election, giving them an edge.

"The candidates themselves did a really great job and I think the results showed on Election Day," he said.

While the committee is not directly tied to national campaigns, McCarthy said he anticipated it would show strong support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He will also be relying on the committee's help in his bid for State Rep. Angelo Puppolo Jr.'s seat in the state House of Representatives.

"Our primary goal is the election of local officials, but I think we will be working hard in those elections as well," he said.

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