No Upsets in Low-Turnout Rochester Election

On a day that Town Clerk Naida Parker described as “very slow” Rochester voters sent Bradford Morse back to the Board of Selectmen in a close Annual Election.

Morse, who will serve a fourth term, edged challenger Michael Murphy 232 votes to 206 on Wednesday, April 10. He attributed the victory to voters’ appreciation of his “fiscal responsibility,” as well as his leading role in “maintaining staff and services” in Rochester.

“I was hoping,” Morse said of the election, “that more of the residents would be involved.”

Parker pointed out that turnout barely cleared 10 percent, as 445 voters cast their ballots from an electorate of 4,052. She cited few contested races as a possible depressor, while other officials suggested that the campaigns for the Commonwealth’s April 30 special primary election for U.S. Senate have led to fatigue.

In other Rochester races, John DiMaggio will return to the Planning Board as a write-in winner, earning 16 votes. DiMaggio was not on the ballot, because he did not file on time, Parker said. Bendrix Bailey was re-elected for a five-year term, as well. Robert Francis earned a three-year seat with 365 votes in an uncontested race.

The following are the other candidates who emerged from the remaining races, all of which were uncontested: incumbent Diana Sherman Knapp for a three-year term on the Board of Assessors with 354 votes; incumbent constables Leo Dalbec and David Hughes for three-year terms, with 328 and 356 votes, respectively; incumbent Jeffrey Eldridge for a three-year term Highway Surveyor with 370 votes; Dalbec, returning for another three years on the Cemetery Commission, with 359 votes; incumbent Dennis Desrosiers and Winston Sharples for three-year terms as Library Trustees, with 337 and 298 votes, respectively; incumbent Glenn Lawrence for a three-year term on the Board of Health with 377 votes; incumbent Richard Charon for a three-year term on the Water Commission with 361 votes; Derek Medeiros for a three-year term on the Old Rochester Regional School Committee with 349 votes and incumbent Sharon Hartley for a three-year term on the Rochester Memorial School Committee with 284 votes; and Hughes for a three-year term on the Park Commission with 359 votes.

Of the 445 counted ballots, 352 included votes cast in each election. There were a total of 92 write-ins for various offices.

by Shawn Badgley

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