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Shanta Lee Gander offers her thanks to a voter who said they cast their ballot for her. Gander won a one-year seat on the Brattleboro Selectboard in the March 6 town election.

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Starr, Gander, Wessel win Selectboard seats

Davidson, Everest hold on to BUHS Board seats

BRATTLEBORO—Incumbency still meant something to Brattleboro voters this year, as they returned the current Selectboard and Brattleboro Union High School Board members to new terms in the March 6 town election.

According to the unofficial results, Town Clerk Hilary Francis said incumbent Selectboard member Brandie Starr, running unopposed for a three-year term on the board, garnered the most votes of any candidate on the ballot with 1,004 votes.

Francis said 1,186 voters turned out for the election, a “low-to-low-average turnout,” she said.

In the three-way race for two one-year seats on the Selectboard, incumbent Tim Wessel was the top vote getter with 771. Newcomer Shanta Lee Gander picked up the other seat, with 670 votes. Another newcomer, William Forchion, ran a very strong third with 592 votes.

“Voters had three good candidates to choose from,” Wessel said after the vote totals were announced. “I’m looking forward to working with Shanta.”

Incumbent BUHS Directors Ricky Davidson and Katey Everest easily won re-election in a three-way race for two seats. Davidson was on top with 743 votes, Everest held her seat with 581 voters, and newcomer Christopher Lievense was third with 369 votes.

Davidson said that with turnover in representation in the other BUHS District #6 towns in this year’s election, he is going to wait and see how the new board comes together.

“Brattleboro tends to lead the way on school issues, so the state will be watching what we do when it comes to innovative ideas and thinking.”

A nonbinding referendum that asked the state to do more to combat climate change passed by an overwhelming margin — 910 in favor and 180 opposed.

Francis said the results will be official once the write-in votes are tabulated.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #449 (Wednesday, March 7, 2018). This story appeared on page A1.

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