Mary McDowell, Michelline Turgeon elected in Granby
Granby — Voter turnout was fair this year for local elections that were held on the same day as the special state primary.
In a race for Select Board, incumbent Mary McDowell defeated challenger Marie Hackworth McCourt 430-289. And challenger Michelline Turgeon won a seat on the Board of Health, defeating incumbent Michael Pandora 373-308.
Voting was held in the cafeteria of the East Meadow School. Town Clerk Katherine Kelly-Regan said voter turnout was 17 percent, relatively high for local elections. Combined state and local elections may have had an effect in bringing more people out to vote.
“It’s more like the Granby elections brought more voters to the polls for the primaries,” said Marie McCourt. “I think the local elections are the bigger draw here.”
McDowell, McCourt and Turgeon were standing on the lawn outside the school for most of the day, waving signs and smiling at the voters as they drove into the school parking lot.
McDowell, 60, will be returning for her third term on the Select Board. She is the academic dean of Holyoke Catholic High School and a former principal of Granby Junior-Senior High School.
“I’m happy about the results, but I’m also happy that we have other women interested in the Select Board,” she said. “I hope Marie continues to be involved. We need good women in positions of leadership.”
McCourt, 40, is a lifelong Granby resident and the project coordinator for a nonprofit in Northampton.
“I will absolutely stay involved,” McCourt said. “I think it was a fair race. We both ran good campaigns. I’m just grateful to the people who supported me.”
McCourt said that she would be interested in running for the Select Board again in the future. This was her first time running for a town office.
Turgeon, 41, was excited to win a position on the Board of Health, and credited her opponent for a good campaign.
“I think the election went very well,” she said. “We’re two strong people and we both care a lot about the job.”
This is Turgeon’s first time serving on the Board of Health, though she has been active in the Granby Charter Days Committee. Turgeon is a paramedic firefighter for the Westfield Fire Department.
Pandora, an EMS coordinator for the Granby Fire Department, served on the Board of Health for three years.
In uncontested elections, William D. Porter III was elected town assessor; Lynn Snopek Mercier was elected town moderator; Katherine A. Kelly Regan will return as town clerk; James J. Pietras will join the Hampshire Council of Governments; George Knight Jr. was elected to the Housing Authority; Herbert T. Abelson was elected to the Planning Board; Ted Smigel won a seat on the Commission of Burial Grounds; and Linda M. Casey and Virginia Snopek were elected library trustees.
There were no candidates running for the open positions on the School Committee, Commission of Trust Funds, the recreation commission, tree warden and a third library trustee position.
Voters had the opportunity to write in candidates for these positions. Those who received votes may take office, or the Select Board may make appointments if write-in candidates refuse.
Pietras received 19 write-in votes for a three-year School Committee position. He has expressed interest in the position. If he refuses it, then its likely the School Committee and Select Board will appoint someone for one year, and then a new candidate will be voted on next year to serve out the remaining two years of the term.
Porter received 10 write-in votes for the Trust Fund position.
Two people each received two write-in votes for the Recreation Commission. The Select Board is likely to make an appointment for the position. Richard Gaj Sr. received 21 write in votes for tree warden. He has expressed interest in the position.