Erica Flood wins at-large council seat in Easthampton

  • Erica Flood STAFF PHOTO/BERA DUNAU

  • Erica Flood in front of the Easthampton municipal building. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Erica Flood in front of the Easthampton municipal building. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Erica Flood in front of the Easthampton municipal building. —STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 10/29/2020 7:10:50 AM

EASTHAMPTON — Erica Flood, a former Precinct 2 City Council candidate with deep roots in the city, was elected Wednesday night to fill the vacant at-large seat of former councilor William Lynch IV.

“I’m so grateful that the council chose me,” Flood said. “I hope that I can prove to be a champion for the rest of my community.”

Flood was elected through ranked-choice voting by the City Council, beating out four other candidates for the position. She will be sworn in before the council’s next meeting on Nov. 4.

The other candidates who sought the seat were Gwynne Morrissey, Kae Collins, Paul St. Pierre and Jared Hinkle, and the field of candidates was praised by several councilors.

“You were all amazing and incredibly well qualified,” City Councilor Owen Zaret told them.

Lynch resigned from the council to attend to work and family obligations. Laura Douglass, the only candidate in last year’s at-large council election not to be elected, chose not to take Lynch’s seat. Councilors subsequently nominated other members of the community to fill the seat as outlined in the city’s charter.

Flood, 41, is a licensed independent insurance agent and photographer. She unsuccessfully challenged City Councilor Homar Gomez for the Precinct 2 council seat in 2019. She is the fifth generation of her family to live in the house where she currently resides and has lived in Easthampton for most of her life.

Flood said she will advocate for the payment in lieu of taxes program put forward by her predecessor, Lynch. She also is looking to increase participation in the next municipal election, and intends to be a resource for potential candidates, she said. She expressed gratitude for the letters sent in support of her candidacy.

Flood was ranked first by four councilors in the first round, in which St. Pierre and Hinkle were eliminated because they received no first-place votes. The four councilors that ranked Flood first were Gomez, Daniel Rist, Lindsey Rothschild and Zaret. Morrissey was ranked first by City Councilors Peg Conniff, Salem Derby and J.P. Kwiecinski, while Collins was ranked first by City Councilor Thomas Peake.

In the second round, Collins was eliminated and Peake’s second-choice ranking of Flood was applied to her total, giving her a 5 to 3 majority over Morrissey in the third round.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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