Scituate’s ‘Independent Men’ get the boot

Scituate’s ‘Independent Men’ get the boot

Council majority dumped; 7 Republicans will return

SCITUATE – Voters Tuesday decided they’d had enough with the self-described “Independent Men,” and used their power to overthrow the confrontational two-year, four-man Town Council majority headed by John Mahoney, who finished next to last. The other three Independent Men fared little better, with big losses for Scott Amaral, Michael Payette, and Nicholas Izzi.

They were all replaced by Republicans, with newcomer Abbie Groves the top vote-getter.

Republicans won all spots on town races save for two positions. Longtime Democratic Town Clerk Margaret “Peggy” Long was returned to office, and Democratic incumbent Coleen Pendergast was re-elected to the School Committee.

Newcomers Abbie Groves, James Brady and Tim McCormick took the top three spots for council, winning 3,217 votes, 3,183 votes and 2,775 votes respectively.

Groves, who earned 10.7 percent of the vote, said it’s her honor and privilege to serve Scituate.

“I’m excited for the next two years, and ready to keep the town moving forward,” she said.

After Council President Mahoney attacked Tim McCormick and his wife, Erika McCormick, during council meetings, Tim McCormick said he hopes to return some civility to town.

“We went door-to-door running a clean campaign,” he said.

Hosting a viewing party at her Frederickson Farmstand Café, Brenda Frederickson celebrated being re-elected to her sixth term with residents and newly appointed officials Tuesday night.

After being held back for two years by the “independent” majority, Frederickson said she was relieved her party was elected so the town can begin moving forward again.

“The Republican team has always worked together, it was a major team effort to get us here,” she said.

Frederickson said she and the two other re-elected incumbents, Charles Collins Jr. and David D’Agostino, will work with the freshmen newcomers to bring them up to speed in time for the budget season.

“I think we have a good mix of background and individual strengths that are going to run the town,” Frederickson said.

She and Collins agreed that an investigation into town funds and spending by the Independent Men will need to be run to give the town answers about the police station construction and other discretionary spending. Mahoney has been in charge of the construction.

The final three spots on the Town Council belong to Gary Grande, with 2,596 votes, D’Agostino, with 2,586 votes, and Collins, with 2,315 votes.

Democrats Debra Archetto and Kimberly Smith came up just shy of winning council seats, earning 1,995 and 1,927 votes respectively.

The four Independent Men earned the last four of 13 positions in votes. Amaral earned 1,517, Payette 1,479, and Izzi had 1,278 votes. Mahoney earned the fewest of the group, with 1,278 votes.

On social media, Amaral thanked the voters, but said “the independents lost and this town is going back to the old guard.”

Though the Independent Men had indicated they would wait for election results at Town Hall, they did not show up. Mahoney did not return calls for comment about the results.

Not affiliated with the Independent Men, independent Thomas Galligan earned 1,018 votes, finishing last.

For School Committee Democratic incumbent Coleen Pendergast was re-elected to another four-year term, earning 2,364 votes. Brian LaPlante and June Guglielmi decided against running for re-election and will serve out the remainder of the terms this year.

Earning the top spot, Erika McCormick won 2,583 votes despite allegations being made regarding her spending as a consultant with the Scituate Prevention Partnership.

McCormick said she was relieved Mahoney will be gone, and said she will continue providing documents backing her claims regarding partnership spending.

Former math teacher Mary Manning-Morse received 2,363 votes, giving her the final spot on the committee. Manning-Morse was a co-coordinator for the home rule charter petition, and is a member of the Home Rule Charter Commission.

For town clerk, Margaret “Peggy” Long, Democrat, beat Republican Theresa “Terry” Yeaw in a race she said she felt was too close for comfort. Long earned 55.3 percent of the vote, and defeated Yeaw, 2,818 to 2,275.

Theodore Przybyla, Republican, will return to the role as town treasurer for another two years after beating Democratic candidate Shaw Scott 2,877 to 2,102.

Comments

Who knew that being a jerk to nearly everyone would cost you this many votes? The "Independent Men" all received fewer than half the votes they received in 2016.