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2 upsets mark Holyoke voting

from The Republican; Wednesday, November 07, 2007
By KEN ROSS [email protected]

HOLYOKE – Political newcomer Timothy W. Purington defeated incumbent John P. Lecca, pulling off one of two upsets in yesterday’s low-key municipal election.

“I’m thrilled by the results,” Purington said.

The other upset was staged by Howard B. Greaney Jr., who defeated incumbent Michael J. Moriarty for an At-Large School Committee seat by a vote of 2,829 to 2,785.

“We just worked and worked and worked and we got our message out,” Greaney said.

And the newest At-Large City Council member is Rebecca Lisi, who beat out three challengers for the seat vacated by Raymond H. Feyre, who did not run for re-election.

“I find it to be a great honor,” Lisi said. “I’m glad the citizens of Holyoke are trusting me with this responsibility.”

All the other political races were won by incumbents, including Mayor Michael J. Sullivan, who ran unopposed.Along with the political races, residents also favored a nonbinding ballot question to reduce the size of the 15-member City Council by a tally of 2,783 to 2,338.

Voter turnout was relatively low. A total of 31.8 percent or 6,147 of the city’s 19,613 registered voters cast ballots in the election, according to City Clerk Susan M. Egan.

“I thought it (voter turnout) would be a little higher,” Egan said yesterday. “I think this morning’s rain really turned off a lot of people.”

Along with Lisi, seven At-Large City Council members were re-elected. Elaine A. Pluta captured the most votes. The other six in order of the number of votes received were Joseph M. McGiverin, Peter R. Tallman, James M. Leahy, Patricia C. Devine, Kevin A. Jourdain and John E. Whelihan.

As for the ward City Council races, Purington pulled off the only upset, defeating Lecca by a vote of 365 to 301. Purington credited his win to his hard work as a campaigner.

“I feel like I really put a lot of work into understanding the ward,” Purington said. “I worked really hard. I listened to people. My platform was really based on what constituents wanted and they rewarded me.”

Lecca could not be reached yesterday for comment.

As for the other ward City Council races, Ward 1 incumbent Donald R. Welch defeated M. Jeanne R. Forget.

In the Ward 3 City Council race, Anthony Martin Keane outpaced Richard P. Purcell for the post currently held by Helen F. Norris, who did not seek re-election.

In Ward 5, incumbent John P. Brunelle defeated Linda L. Vacon.

There were also contested races for two, ward School Committee seats. In Ward 6, incumbent William R. Collamore beat Daniel C. Burns. In Ward 7, incumbent Margaret M. Boulais survived a challenge by Nicole S. Muller.

In the School Committee At Large race, Greaney, a retired teacher, ousted Moriarty. Greaney attributed his win to a strong grassroots campaign. He also referred to a Moriarty as a formidable candidate.

Moriarty thanked Greaney for a clean campaign. “We both made a case for why we should be on the School Committee. The results weren’t what I wanted but it was the will of the voters,” Moriarty said. Moriarty said he will ask for a recount since he lost by less than 1 percent of the vote.

©2007 The Republican

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