Breaking: Recount sought in Rochester select board race

May 31, 2022

ROCHESTER — Adam Murphy is seeking a recount after falling two votes short to incumbent Select Board member Brad Morse in the Rochester town election.

His recount petition was received Tuesday, May 31 at the Town Clerk’s office, Town Clerk Paul Dawson said. The petition required signatures from 10 registered voters.

The recount could be held “as early as next week,’’ depending on logistics, Dawson said.

Morse received 582 votes at the May 25 election, edging Murphy’s 580 tally.

When the results were announced minutes after the polls closed, Murphy immediately requested a recount. 

“That’s very close,’’ he said. A recount would be “appropriate,’’ he said.

His petition was received Tuesday, May 31 at the Town Clerk’s office, Town Clerk Paul Dawson said.

The town’s Registrars of Voters must now meet to set a date for the recount. Dawson hopes the meeting will be held Monday, June 6 but that date could not be confirmed at press time.

Morse noted after the results were announced that the close race “just shows you that every vote counts.’’

He said he is “glad to be able to serve another three years.’’

The remainder of the Rochester election results were not as tight.

Rochester Memorial School Committee member Sharon Hartley will return to the board for a full three-year term. The board veteran, who has served on the committee for 18 years, defeated challenger Melissa Goneau, receiving 726 votes to Goneau’s 449.

“I’m thrilled,’’ said Hartley, who thanked her family and the community for their support. “I’m really excited to continue the work’’ that the committee has done, she said. 

Jason Chisholm was also re-elected to the committee, to fill out the remaining two years of a vacancy. He received 574 votes, defeating challengers Gregory Hardy, who got 447 votes, and James O’Brien, who received 140 votes. 

Chisholm said he was happy with the turnout, which was considerably higher than the typical number. “We want to make sure we participate,’’ he said. 

He noted that he looks forward to continuing his efforts on the committee.

About 26 percent of the town’s registered voters cast ballots, Dawson said, with 1,197 voters of the 4,664 registered voters turning out. 

“That’s a very good turnout,’’ he said,

Last year, by comparison, 390 voters cast ballots in the town election. Having several contested races bolstered this year’s number, he theorized. 

Results of uncontested races were: Highway Surveyor Jeffrey Eldridge, 1,002; Board of Assessors Diana Knapp, 945; Cemetery Commission Lori Souza, 974; Board of Health Glenn Lawrence, 977; Constable David Hughes, 931, and Mark Slabodnick, 802 (two positions open); Park Commission David Hughes, 974; Library Trustees Kimberly Burt, 884 and Michael King, 712 (two positions open); Planning Board Arnold Johnson, 930; and Water Commissioner Richard Charon, 962.