Mingquan Zheng. COURTESY PHOTO

Mingquan Zheng is Top Vote-getter in Westford School Committee Race

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The only contested race in the May 1 town election came to a stunning conclusion with newcomer Mingquan Zheng coming in first for School Committee.

Zheng got 968 votes. His competitors, Alicia Mallon, and incumbents Avery Adam and Chris Sanders got 678, 700, 802, votes respectively. There were only three open seats with three-year terms, meaning Mallon will not serve in an elected position. However, Mallon had been appointed to an unexpired term last year and served in that position until she vacated the seat to run for an elected post. That term  has a remaining year and because no one ran for the seat, selectmen are likely to reappoint someone.

Alicia Curtin Mallon. WESTFORDCAT PHOTO

Alicia Curtin Mallon. WESTFORDCAT PHOTO

 

“I am very humbled about the outpouring of support from the entire Westford community. Our team has been hitting the campaign trail tirelessly…” Zheng said. “At the end of the day our hard work paid off, and our messages resonated with town residents. I applaud the great work Alicia, Avery, and Chris have done to serve the Westford community, and I am looking forward to serving on the School Committee, and I pledge that I will always serve with dedication, respect, and transparency.”

Mallon could not be reached immediately for comment.

Out of 16,907 registered voters only 1,364 or 8.1 percent cast ballots, according to the Town Clerk’s office. The preliminary results are unofficial.

Selectman Mark Kost who ran unopposed for another three-year term faced a last-minute challenger when Juliette Mount launched a write-in campaign on April 29. That effort proved futile. Kost got 900 votes to 256 write-in votes.

“I would like to thank everyone who came out to vote in Westford for whomever you supported as this is one of our great rights and responsibilities,” Kost wrote in a statement. “…The most humbling part about all of this was the way so many people from all sections of our vast town, from all kinds of affiliations and from a variety of backgrounds and causes came to my defense from Sunday through Tuesday to rebuke the unprofessional and selfish attempt for a last minute write-in effort.”

Uncontested races

There were no other contested races.

Joanne Belanger got re-elected to the Board of Health with 1,057 votes. Incumbents Marianne Fleckner and Susanne Flint got 1,067 and 1,075 votes to return as Library Trustees. Darrin Wizcst will return to a five-year term on the Planning Board with 1,000 votes.

A five-year seat for Housing Authority had no candidates.

UPDATE – Mark Kost’s quote was added to the story and his complete statement was added to the sidebar.