Blue wave hits Massachusetts, misses governor’s office

Local and state election results


(Alvin Buyinza/Daily Collegian)

By Collegian News Staff

Thirteen members of the inaugural Amherst Town Council were elected into office following the 2018 election on Nov. 6. At the state level, Republican Governor Charlie Baker and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren have both won a second term.

According to the Amherst Town Clerk’s office, there were 21,990 eligible voters in Amherst.

Rick Fleurent, a three-year constable at the Precinct 9 polling place located at Wildwood Elementary, has “never seen so many young people here [at the polls].”

For Gabriela Tiraspolski, a senior communication major, voting is something she does not take for granted. As a Russian and Israeli immigrant who became a citizen a few years ago, having political freedom to vote for who she wants is very important to her.

Tiraspolski came to the polls with Cyd Villavicencio, a junior communication major whom she has known since she was 13 or 14 years old. Concerned by the turnout in the 2016 elections, they went to vote together to set an example for other young people.

 For the three at-large town council positions, the winners were Mandi Jo Hanneke with 4,860 votes, Alisa Brewer with 4,271 votes and Andrew Steinberg with 4,193 votes. Candidates Robert Greeney, Robert Kusner and James Pistrang were unsuccessful in their bids for at-large council seats.

In District 1, candidates Sarah Swartz and Cathy Schoen won town council seats, receiving 715 and 668 votes respectively. The two beat out candidates Sharon Povinelli and Nicola Usher, who received 314 and 318 votes, respectively.

J. Lynn Griesemer and Patricia DeAngelis are to take the town council seats forDistrict 2, earning 1,468 and 1,159 votes, respectively. Candidates Victor Andres Nunez-Ortiz and Peter Vickery were beat out with 734 and 681 votes, respectively.

Prior to the results being released, Nunez-Ortiz emphasized that he wanted to “continue to be involved in the schools, youth sports and Amherst government,” whether he won or not.

In District 3, Dorothy Pam, who received 451 votes, and George Ryan, who received 408 votes, won the two town council seats in the district. In third, University of Massachusetts student John Page came in at 397 votes, only 11 votes behind second-place candidate Ryan. Stephen Braun came in fourth in District 3 with 267 votes. Page and Braun did not win town council seats.

Ryan was “grateful and also humbled” by his victory, saying he was “excited about getting to work as soon as possible to help implement Amherst’s new form of government.”

“I was particularly heartened by the level of student participation in our local election and I hope that this is something that will only grow in the years to come,” Ryan added.

In District 4, candidates Evan Ross, who received 892 votes, and Stephen Schreiber, who received 790 votes, won town council seats. They defeated candidates David Reffsin and Jacqueline Lucette Maidana, who received 476 and 729 votes, respectively.

Candidates Shalini Bahl-Milne, Ph.D., who received a total of 1,502 votes and Darcy Dumont with a total of 1,497 votes, won the town council seats for district 5. The two defeated Paul Bobrowski who received 1,081 votes, and Sam Macleod, who received 946 votes, respectively.

At the state level, Baker defeated challenger Jay Gonzalez. However, Amherst residents showed greater support for Gonzalez, with Gonzalez receiving 7,196 votes in Amherst compared to Gov. Baker, who received 3,525 votes.

Incumbent Sen. Warren also kept her seat, defeating Republican state representative Geoff Diehl. According to the New York Times, Warren accumulated 9,628 votes in the town of Amherst, and 60.5 percent of the votes state-wide. Meanwhile, Diehl only managed to pull 887 votes in Amherst, with a statewide percentage vote of 36.1 percent.

Gabriel Adams-Keane, a senior political science and public policy major, said he was excited Warren won re-election. Adams-Keane also supported Gonzalez.

“I’m a little bit sorry that [Gonzalez] didn’t get a chance to serve our commonwealth, but I know Charlie Baker is very popular,” he said.

In other state positions in Massachusetts, Democratic incumbents maintained control.

For Attorney General, Maura Healey won her race against Republican James McMahon.

For Secretary of State, William Galvin defeated two challengers, Republican Anthony Amore and Green-Rainbow candidate Juan Sanchez.

For State Auditor, Suzanne Bump proved victorious against Republican Helen Brady, Libertarian Daniel Fisherman and Independent Edward Stamas.

For Treasurer, Deborah Goldberg defeated Republican Keiko Orrall and Independent Jamie Guerin.

State ballot Question 1, which proposed a limitation on nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals and health care facilities, did not pass. According to an early count, an overwhelming number of voters, 70 percent, voted no. In Amherst, 4,477 voted for Question 1, while 5,534 voted against it.

According to preliminary results, Massachusetts voters passed Question 2 with 71.2 percent of the vote, which will initiate a citizen’s commission to look into changing campaign finance laws. In Amherst, 9,542 voted for Question 1, while 1,031 voted against it.

Question 3 also passed with 67.7 percent of the public voting ‘yes’ to keep in place a law protecting gender identity from discrimination in public places, according to an early count Wednesday morning. In Amherst, 9,798 voted for Question 3, while 845 voted against it.

At a national level, the Democratic party gained a slight majority in the House of Representatives, while Republicans retained control of the Senate.

“We are excited to gain seats in the Senate but disappointed with losing the House,” UMass College Republicans President Nicholas Consolini commented. “What we are most excited about is Governor Baker’s commanding win for his re-election with 66.8 percent of the vote at home in Massachusetts. It’s important to have a fiscal conservative governor in Boston.”

UMass Democrats were “overall very happy with the results of last night’s election.”

“Over the past few months, we have made thousands of calls, knocked on thousands of doors, and registered hundreds of people to vote and get absentee ballots,” the club said in a statement. “Obviously, not everything went our way last night. We lost seats in the Senate and came short in the District 3 town council race. However, we find hope in races across the country.”

“I think the election so far has been surprising for a lot of people,” said Wei Cai, a junior journalism and BDIC major and Student Government Association secretary of public relations and recruitment. “There are some states… that are swinging one way, some states are swinging another way. They are really showing a lot of people voting, so that is really shaking up a lot of things and adding to that uncertainty, but overall, it’s been a really exciting election night.”

Additional information may be added to this article as more voter information becomes available.

The Collegian News staff can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @CollegianNews.