Portsmouth election returns

The bad news is that neither serious fiscal conservative, Jack Thorsen or Bill St. Laurent, was elected to City Council. The incumbents endorsed by the Association of Portsmouth Taxpayers all were returned, so here’s hoping they live up to their rhetoric. Promising newcomer Tom Martin was elected to the School Board, so that’s something.

The City Council numbers are very interesting. There is a clear division between the top eleven and the bottom three. Incumbent Laura Pantelakos and previous councilman St. Laurent finished a few hundred behind the last elected council member; then there is a big drop-off of nearly 500 votes to the last three. Ryan Baker and Jack Thorsen would have been newcomers to Portsmouth elected office, and David Adams’s previous experience was only on the Historic District Commission. The two newly-elected council members are Tony Coviello, a veteran of the Planning Committee who was encouraged to run by the mayor, and Bob Lister, who was the School Superintendent for years.

It shows, to me, the parochial nature of local politics. To get elected, one must already have some kind of profile; that means getting appointed to some board or other, or having a very large and strong community support network. Running as a maverick may be satisfying, but is unlikely to be successful.

Meanwhile, I see that our neighbors to the east have voted to continue marriage apartheid. The silver lining is that perhaps it will drive Down Easters who value personal liberty to the Free State.

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