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In one of the most exciting election races in years in Westford, two incumbents rose to victory despite stiff competition, and two newcomers will serve on two of the most significant boards/committees.
As concerns over school budgetary challenges for fiscal 2021, beginning July 1, grew, so, too, did the number of candidates seeking to serve on the School Committee. The election drew 19.2 percent of the town’s 17,000 registered voters, according to Town Clerk Patty Dubey.
There were six candidates for two seats on the School Committee. The victory went to incumbent Gloria K. Miller who received 1,409 votes and to newcomer Valery L. Young with 1,277 votes. The duo beat former School Committee member Terry Ryan who got 1,168 votes and Arthur Benoit, also a former School Committee member, who received 959 votes. Paul Jacob Kravitz garnered 584 votes, and Jannelle Dion Cioffi received 569 votes. The two seats were open because Miller’s initial three-year term ended, and incumbent Megan Eckroth chose not to run again.
Incumbent Tom Clay, with 2,205 votes will return to the Select Board for another three-year term, and newcomer Anita Tonakarn-Nguyen will join him with 2,185 votes. Contender Andrew Spanos pulled in 1,453 votes. The board had two open seats because Select Board member Elizabeth Almeida opted not to run again, and Clay’s initial three-year term had ended.
Susan McNeill Spuhler lost her post as town moderator to Angela Harkness. Spuhler received 486 votes to Harkness’s 2,616 votes for the three-year term.
Robert L. Shaffer, Jr. will serve a five-year term on the Planning Board in return for the 1,676 votes he received over Gary William Lavelle’s 1,249.
Zac Cataldo and Michele Pitoniak-Crawford will both return to the Board of Health. The uncontested race brought Cataldo 2,603 votes, and Crawford 2,577 votes.
Robert D. Price, who received 2,630 votes, and Lynn C. Clermont, who received 2,603 votes, will both serve as library trustees.