2nd District Still Waiting Results
Update: According to reports from MassLive.com, Paul Mark has won the 2nd Berkshire District Democratic primary with 2,762 votes (44 percent) and 21 of 23 precincts reporting. Coming in second was Thomas Szczepaniak with 2,310 votes (37 percent) and Noreen Suriner with 1,229 votes (37 percent).
The race to chose a new representative from the 2nd Berkshire District appears to be going down to the wire, with Democrats Tom Szczepaniak of Dalton and Paul Mark of Hancock running neck and neck.
An update from PCTV at 11 p.m. had Mark in the lead by 6 percent of the vote.
The campaigns were still awaiting official results from the sprawling district, which includes parts of 22 towns spread across three counties.
On the Republican side, Michael Case of Washington appears to be the choice to represent his party in the Nov. 2 general election, which will also include independent Stefan Racz of Buckland, who unsuccessfully ran against Guyer in 2006.
On the Democratic side, Szczepaniak, a Dalton selectman since 2001 and owner of Variety Trucking and Demolition in Pittsfield, said he was confident he would pull through against two other Democrats. In his hometown, he won 788 votes to 413 for Paul Mark of Hancock, and 228 for Noreen Suriner of Middlefield.
At about 10:30 p.m., he said he was confident of a strong performance in Berkshire County, but unsure about other towns that still hadn't reported.
"It's been a long, vigorous campaign," he said from Shamrock Restaurant and Pub in Dalton, where he was awaiting the results with supporters. "Meeting the people has been a blessing. It's a new world for me and I'm excited about it."
For the Republicans, Michael Case, a veteran and longtime Pittsfield police officer, said he had put up a clear lead against Rosanne Frieri of Pittsfield.
"I'm glued to the TV," he said from Jacob's Restaurant in Dalton, where he was gathering with supporters. "I've got a feeling I'm going to win."
The district is geographically the largest in the state and includes the Berkshire towns of Cheshire, Dalton, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, New Ashford, Peru, Richmond, Becket, Washington, Windsor, and a part of Pittsfield. It also includes the Franklin County towns of Colrain, Bernardston, Ashfield, Buckland, Leyden, Northfield, and Shelburne, and the Hampshire County towns of Cummington, Middlefield, and Plainfield.
The winner of the race will replace Denis Guyer of Dalton, who was first elected to the seat in 2004, winning that election with 70 percent of the vote. He replaced Republican Shaun Kelly of Dalton, who had represented the district since 1990.
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There's a New Sheriff in Town
Tom Bowler gives his victory speech at the Crowne Plaza.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Tom Bowler became the county's first new sheriff in 32 years on Tuesday night.
Bowler, a Pittsfield Police detective and one-time assistant deputy superintendent at the House of Correction trounced North County's longtime state representative Daniel Bosley.
Bowler was greeted by more than 200 supporters at his victory party for sheriff at the Crowne Plaza. The crowd cheered enthusiastically as the returns came in. Not surprisingly, the Pittsfield native was supported by his city, which cast 5,070 ballots in his favor against Daniel Bosley, who polled 1,717.
New Sheriff-elect Tom Bowler embraces friend Jerry Burke, president and CEO of Hillcrest
Bosley was hoping for low turnout in Pittsfield to catch the detective by powering out of North County. But Bowler bit deep into Bosley's territory and Pittsfield made up for its sluggish start in the afternoon and evening hours, with about a 26 percent turnout.
North Adams stuck by Bosley, handing him 1,630 votes to Bowler's 1,035 but Adams went blue. Bowler picked up 1,064 to Bosley's 878.
Bowler continued to roll up towns throughout the county. South County turnout was extremely low, indicative of the few races on the ballot there.
Bowler thanked his supporters and mentioned the many friendships he'd made during the long campaign.
"There has been a change in our community. The drug dealers and violence eat at the heart of our community," he said. "But there's a new sheriff in town."
He praised his family and friends for their support and said he'd instill the office of sheriff with fairness and integrity. "I'm going to lead the only way I know how — by example."
More than 200 supporters gathered at Bowler's election party at the Crowne Plaza on Tuesday night.
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Where is South County?
It's now 8:08 p.m. and polls in Berkshire County are closed, now we wait but not for long. Voter turnout in South County has been spare with only 276 of 2,224 voters in Sheffield and similar numbers in the Great Barrington precincts. According to poll warden Candice Parsons of Sheffield, despite the low numbers, she will stand by her post.
"I'm not sure why there's a low turnout here," Parsons said. "But when I'm in here I'm not thinking about the races, I'm not political."
While turnout in South County is slim, Pittsfield has seen a 25 percent turnout.
According to Ward 5A warden Fran Lysonski, a 28-year veteran, folks made a steady line to the polls.
"It's definintely about the sheriff's race," she said.
Now we wait. Stay tuned for unofficial results and news from Bowler's campaign office on South Street.
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Primary Election Day: Voting
Update 11:00 p.m.
Well, the votes are in and Tom Bowler and Gailanne Cariddi are the big winners so far tonight. In the 2nd Berkshire District, Michael Case beat out Rosanne Frieri for the Republican nomination but we here it's still neck and neck in the Democratic primary between Tom Szczepaniak and Paul Mark. The Berkshire Eagle called the race for Szczepaniak at 10 p.m. but an hour later PCTV said Mark was in the lead by 6 percent.
Update: 7:38 p.m.
The North County towns are reporting at least 30 percent turnout. In Adams, some 1,874 had voted by 6 p.m. with 33 percent turnout at the town's DPW garage. The town has 5,634 registered voters.
This was the first election for new Town Clerk Haley Meczywor, who described the experience as "interesting." "You really don't know what's going on [in an election] until you've been here all day," she said. "It's been really interesting."
Clarksburg had a 37 percent turnout at 7:20, with 409 voting out of about 1,119 registered voters. Cheshire had a 32.5 percent turnout shortly before 7, with 1,874 ballots cast out of 5,634 voters. Cheshire, in the 2nd District, had primaries for both Democrats and Republicans. We're told few Republican ballots were selected.
Samantha LaValley-Leary submits her vote into the Ward 5 ballot box at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center in North Adams.
Update 4:59 p.m.
We're getting a late start with election news today but we can tell you that voting is steady in the three biggest North County towns. In North Adams, nearly 2,000 had already cast votes with three hours left. Poll workers at St. Elizabeth's Parish Center, site of voting for Wards 1, 2 and 5, said the turnout has been steady since early this morning.
Last year's hotly contested mayoral election in the city saw more than 5,200 votes cast; that compares to just under 4,000 for the special Senate election that featured native daughter Martha Coakley.
"We vote whenever there's an election," said Donna LaValley-Leary of Ward 5.
We ran into David Bissaillon outside the North Adams polling station. The Adams resident is running for 1st Berkshire District and said he had a good feeling about the voting so far.
Dave Bissaillon rallies the troups in North Adams.
The former chamber president said he'd spent four or five hours in the hilltowns and in Franklin and Hampshire counties this morning. "I wanted to get to them and spend some time there," he said, adding that it was quiet at the polling stations but he expected things to pick up later in the day.
He was more pleased with a heavy turnout in Adams and Williamstown.
"I think it will be a strong turnout ... whatever happens, we'll all be smiling at the Bounti-Fare later."
Dan Bosley, the man whose shoes Bissiallon is trying to fill, was headed back to his office. He too was pleased with the turnout in his stamping grounds. Turnout will be critical factor in the race for sheriff, with Pittsfield native Tom Bowler expected to do well in his hometown. However, the county's biggest city has no other races on the ballot to draw voters out.
The mayoral election last year drew 13,215 votes, or around 46 percent; a similar number voted in the special Senate election. Pittsfield's primary last September drew fewer voters, but still nearly 8,000 for a 28 percent turnout.
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Decisions, Decisions on Primary Day
|Berkshire County Sheriff|
|Thomas N. Bowler||Daniel E. Bosley|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — It's decision time in Berkshire County, especially for two elected positions.
On Tuesday, voters in North County and parts of Franklin and Hampshire will determine their state representative for the next two years in the Democratic primary. Barring a last-minute write-in for November, the Democratic winner of the 1st Berkshire District primary on Tuesday will sail to a predetermined victory.
The same goes for Berkshire County sheriff, where two Democrats are facing off for the six-year position. The last occupant of the office, Carmen C. Massimiano, quietly held onto the powerful political spot for 32 years. He hadn't been challenged since 1980 until Thomas N. Bowler announced his intention to run. Massimiano decided to retire and soon after Daniel E. Bosley, another powerhouse Democrat and dean of the Berkshire delegation at the State House, tossed his hat in the ring.
In the 1st District, three Democrats are vying to step into the shoes of Bosley, who's been representing North County and outlying towns for 24 years. Gailanne Cariddi has been city councilor in North Adams for 20 years and has consistently been among top vote-getters in city elections; Edward MacDonald is currently town administrator for Chester, in the 4th District, but hails from Adams, where he served a term as selectman; and David Bissaillon, also of Adams, is a vice president with Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins and former president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce.
Voters the 2nd Berkshire District, which cuts a large swath across the county and includes towns in Franklin and Hampshire, will select nominations in both Republican and Democratic primaries to face off against independent Stefan G. Racz of Buckland in November.
On the Democratic ballot are Thomas S. Szczepaniak, a three-term Dalton selectman and owner of Variety Trucking; Noreen P. Suriner, a retired Episcopal, former teacher and Middlefield selectwoman; and Paul W. Mark of Hancock, a Verizon technician and labor attorney with strong roots in local union activities. On the Republican side are military veterans Michael Case, a retired Pittsfield Police officer and Guardsman who served in combat areas, and Rosanne M. Frieri of Richmond, Pittsfield's veterans service agent and staff sergeant in the Air National Guard.
Also on Tuesday's ballot are nominations for state auditor. In the Democratic camp are Great Barrington resident Suzanne M. Bump, Guy William Glodis of Auburn and Mike Lake of Boston; the Republicans are fielding Mary Z. Connaughton of Framingham and Kamal Jain of Lowell. There also is a race for the Democratic nomination for state treasurer between Steven Grossman of Newton and Stephen J. Murphy of Boston.
More information on the candidates, including letters, articles and statements can be found on the blog or go directly to their websites through the links on the sidebar. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; find your voting location here.
Check the blog later today for update on voting and election news. You'll have the results from the major communities as soon as we do. Check on on Twitter at @iberkshires or our Facebook page and send info to us the same way. Editor Tammy Daniels will join Richard Taskin and Paul Hopkins at Northern Berkshire Community Television at 7 p.m. You can also follow our partners on the Berkshire News Network at WSBS, WBEC and WNAW for election coverage.
Get out the vote!
1st Berkshire District
|David R. Bissaillon||Gailanne M. Cariddi||Edward MacDonald|
2nd Berkshire District / Democrat
| Paul W. Mark
|| Noreen M. Suriner
|| Thomas S. Szczepaniak
|2nd Berkshire District / Republican|
|Michael F. Case||Rosanne M. Frieri|
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