Recap: Election Night Yields Big Wins for PCC Endorsed Candidates
Voters chose to elect many of the candidates chosen by the Portsmouth Concerned Citizens in Tuesday's election, while an incumbent lost a re-election bid to the Town Council.
When Tuesday's election results started to pour in at the Portuguese-American Club on Power Street, a worrying frown began to show on many of the Democratic candidates' faces. The news and numbers were not in their favor.
Murmured phrases of "this is crazy" and "this is not good" could be heard among the crowd of relatives, friends and candidates gathered in the club.
Both Town Council candidates Jim Seveney and Dennis Canario hushed the crowd as they listened on cell phones to the results. They sat before a laptop, typing the results from each precinct into the computer, which fed the results to a projector and, finally, onto a white sheet hung on the wall.
As the results were read, it was soon learned that Portsmouth voters had chosen to elect five Republicans and two Democrats to the Town Council.
Seveney was given another two years. Canario, in the most surprising upset of the night, came in eighth place among the 13 candidates for Town Council. Only seven seats were open on the board.
"I would like to take this time to thank everyone for giving me the honor of serving as your councilman over the past six years," said Canario in a written statement released Wednesday. "As I stated during my campaign, I realize and truly appreciate all the hard work and effort each and every town employee give of themselves on a daily basis.
"Portsmouth certainly faces some challenges ahead such as future budgets and the implementation of the waste water management district. The future budgets are going to require a great deal of commitment in order to preserve education, health and welfare and vital services. The implementation of the WWMD (Wastewater Management District) will also be challenging in terms of satisfying our obligations under state law while providing an affordable solution to all town residents.
"I would like to thank my family especially my wife Amy, my children, Dennis Jr., Jonathan, Olivia, daughter-in-law Tori, and all my friends who supported my efforts as your town councilor. Although I wish the outcome would have been in my favor, the voters have spoken. We must now move forward as a community and work together to keep Portsmouth the most precious place on earth to live.
"Thank you once again for giving me the honor."
At the Canvassing Authority Wednesday morning at Town Hall, employees were busy certifying the last 10 provisional ballots. Registrar of Voters Madeleine Pencak said the provisional ballots would not have any impact on the local races.
The mail ballots were also added and counted Wednesday morning by the state Board of Elections, she said.
The seven councilors elected Tuesday evening were Seveney (D), who was the top vote-getter with 3896 or 8.6% of the vote, followed by Keith Hamilton (R) with 3858, 8.5%; Elizabeth A. Pedro (R), 3805, 8.4%; Paul Francis Kesson (R), 3721, 8.2%; Joseph W. Robicheau (R), 3664, 8.1%; Judith J. Staven (R), 3609, 7.9%; and Michael A. Buddemeyer (D), 3608, 7.9%.
Canario, the Democratic incumbent, recieved 3543 votes or 7.8%.
The Portsmouth Concerned Citizens (PCC) had endorsed Kesson, Pedro, Staven and Robicheau for town council.
For School Committee, the PCC had endorsed three of the night's four winners: Cynthia Perrotti, Jonathan Harris and Thomas Vadney, all Repubican candidates.
Perrotti, in her first election following an appointment to the School Committee in 2009, recieved 3993 or 15.4% of the vote.
"I am very pleased with the support of the Portsmouth community," Perrotti said at the St. John Lodge during a victory celebration by the town's Republican candidates. "I thank them for their vote of confidence."
Harris received the second highest votes for school committee with 3369 or 13.0%, while Vadney recieved 2943 or 11.3%. The lone Democratic-winning candidate for school committee, David Croston, recieved 2835 or 10.9%.
The incumbent school committee candidate, Marjorie Levesque, came in fifth with 2754 or 10.6%. Only four seats were up for grabs on the school committee.
The new school committee will now feature the following members: Croston, Vadney, Harris, Perrotti, Marilyn King, Sylvia Wedge and Angela Volpicelli.