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Hogeland, Daley Win Williamstown Selectmen Posts

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Staff
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Town Clerk Mary Kennedy reads off the votes on Tuesday evening at Williamstown Elementary School.
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Williamstown selectmen winners Andrew Hogeland, left, and Hugh Daley, earlier on Tuesday with fellow candidates Jack Nogueira and Gary Fuls.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — There were smiles and handshakes all the way around when the voting was tallied in the four-man race for two seats on the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday night.
 
After Andrew Hogeland and Hugh Daley were declared the winners, their campaign rivals were among the first to congratulate the pair.
 
"I didn't win, which is always disappointing because you want to win, but the town's going to be just fine with who we have," Gary Fuls said after coming in third in the race.
 
"The town could not lose."
 
Hogeland was the top vote-getter with 805 votes. Daley polled 706 to finish second and earn one of the three-year terms at stake in the election.
 
Fuls garnered 315 votes, and Jack Nogueira finished with 110.
 
Voters had the opportunity to select two of the four names on the ballot, and 192 voters left one of the spots blank. Two voters cast write-in ballots, according to Town Clerk Mary Kennedy.
 
The four candidates were out bright and early on Tuesday morning outside Williamstown Elementary School and lasted all 13 hours that the polls were open. They had plenty of time to get to know each other better, and each agreed with Fuls that the voters couldn't go wrong.
 
"It was a great race," Daley said. "I don't think there was a bad choice on the ticket.
 
"I think the message of economic development and sensible progress on affordable housing and all those issues resonated with voters. I don't think it's a comment on any of the candidates. It just worked out this way.
 
"And I'm very happy. I've got to say thank you to everybody who supported me."
 
The four men spent some time together on the "campaign trail," doing two televised forums on the town's public access television station, WilliNet. But they got to know each other even better while greeting voters at the school on Tuesday.
 
"It was a good day," Nogueira said. "It was a long day, but it was a good day. I think we all developed a good friendship, so it was a great time. It was a pleasure meeting all of the people coming to vote.
 
"I enjoyed it, and I'll do it again."
 
As they said during the campaign, the candidates agreed that the experience of a contested election was positive for the town.
 
"I think having a contested race made us all focus on developing our position and getting to know people," Hogeland said. "It was a rewarding and educational process all around.
 
"And I'm very glad that enough people in town turned out to vote to have a good turnout. It's good for democracy."
 
All the other town races were uncontested.
 
Winners (with vote totals) were: Elementary School Committee, John Skavlem (859); library trustees, David Dewey (856) and Kathleen Schultz (798); Housing Authority, Joan Burns (755); Planning Board, Amy Jeschawitz (798).
 
Both Nogueira and Fuls said they plan to stay active in town government.
 
Nogueira currently holds a position on Williamstown's Rent Control Board. Fuls said he is looking forward to finding ways to stay involved.
 
"I think there's definitely more we need to help out on," he said. "I'm going to talk with Hugh and Andy and everybody and see where I can possibly help out the most. Whatever we can do to help each other, we're going to do.
 
"It wasn't like we were running against each other. We're all there to help each other."
 
Hogeland and Daley will be sworn in after Williamstown's annual town meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, at Williamstown Elementary School.
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