Manchester polls report steady stream of voters

Voters line up to cast their ballots at the Ward 1 polls at Webster School in Manchester on Tuesday.

City voters swept out four incumbents from the Manchester school board on Tuesday.

Incumbents in Wards 3, 5, 8 and 10 lost re-election.

Those included one long-serving — John Avard in Ward 10 — and Mary Georges in Ward 3. Avard lost to veteran state Rep. Jane Beaulieu, 796-636. Georges lost to Karen Soule 433 to 401.

Arthur Beaudry, the longest-serving member, called the results mind-boggling.

“I don’t know what to think, to be honest with you,” said Beaudry, who won re-election to his 10th term.

In other results, community-television activist Jim O’Connell topped the field of at-large candidates for two seats with 7,653 votes. Joining him on the board will be Joe Lachance, a former state representative. Lachance pulled down 7,335 votes. The two outpolled Lara Quiroga and Democratic Party activist Gene Martin, who received 6,118 and 5,261 votes, respectively.

Incumbents to win re-election included Kathleen Kelley Arnold in Ward 2, Dan Bergeron in Ward 6 and Beaudry, the current vice chairman of the board, in Ward 9.

Other incumbents to win were Leslie Want in Ward 4 and Kelly Thomas in Ward 12.

The new board members include James Porter in Ward 1, Karen Soule in Ward 3, Jeremy Dobson in Ward 5, Bill Shea in Ward 7, retired high school assistant principal Peter Perich in Ward 8, Beaulieu in Ward 10 and Nicole Leapley in Ward 11.

Dobson defeated incumbent Lisa Freeman; Perich defeated incumbent Jimmy Lehoux.

“All I can say is the learning curve is going to be very tough,” said Beaudry, who is vice chairman of the board. Nine of the 15 board seats will have someone new in them, he said.

Beaudry noted that Manchester Proud, the pro-education group developing a strategic plan for the board, has expressed concern about high turnover on the board.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Monday, November 18, 2019