A "Vote Today" banner in the Town Center at night.
Preliminary election results from Lexington's Town Clerk show that voters upheld the gas-powered leaf blower phaseout. In the contested School Committee race, Eileen Jay was reelected, and Larry Freeman will serve his first term. (Sophie Culpepper / LexObserver)

Preliminary results confirmed by Town Clerk: Voters uphold gas-powered leaf blower phaseout; Eileen Jay reelected, Larry Freeman will serve first term

Reported by Sophie Culpepper
 

Preliminary results from Monday’s town election are in, per an email from Town Clerk Mary de Alderete.
 

Gas-powered leaf blower phaseout affirmed: Town Meeting’s vote in favor of Article 10, including a phaseout of gas-powered leaf blowers, was upheld by voters: A majority said “yes” at the polls to Question 1, though the vote of 55.02% in favor (3,351 voters) and 44.98% against (2,740 voters) was closer than Town Meeting’s original, when an overwhelming majority of 84.9% of voters were in favor. Results were close on the precinct level, with no votes outnumbering yes in precincts 5 and 7 (precincts 1-9 listed left to right):

Eileen Jay reelected, Larry Freeman elected to first term: In the contested School Committee race, new candidate Larry Freeman earned the most votes (3,957), while incumbent Eileen Jay was also reelected with a few hundred fewer votes (3,526). Salvador Jaramillo, the other new candidate, earned nearly 2,500 votes (specifically, 2,489), demonstrating his own formidable groundswell of support – but that still put him more than 1,000 votes behind the other two candidates. Both candidates will serve three-year terms.

Turnout went up from last year: Turnout more than doubled compared to last year (despite some rain this afternoon), but was still lower than in 2020. We previously reported that voter turnout is typically higher in years with a ballot question. Last year’s turnout, for an election that included a contested Planning Board race, was 12%; this year, about 27.10% of voters turned out, or 6,150 of 22,696 eligible voters. In 2020, turnout stood at 44%; that year, no townwide elections were contested – but several Town Meeting precinct races were, whereas only one of nine precincts was contested this cycle.  
 

Turnout fluctuated slightly by precinct. It was highest in precincts 2 and 4, and lowest in precinct 3.

Other town-wide races: In the uncontested town-wide races, Joe Pato and Suzie Barry were both reelected to the Select Board for three-year terms (earning 3,871 votes and 4,224 votes respectively), as was Robert Peters to the Planning Board for a one-year term (3,864 votes), and Deborah Brown as Town Moderator for a one-year term (4,252 votes).

Town Meeting Member Precinct ResultsThe majority of candidates running and elected were incumbents; new candidates are indicated with an ‘N,’ and write-in candidates are indicated as such.

All nine precincts will have their seats filled, and elected Town Meeting Members are listed below by precinct.

In Precinct 2, the only contested precinct race, Charles Hornig, a new candidate for Town Meeting P2 who currently chairs the Planning Board, earned more than 100 fewer votes than the seven incumbents, so the precinct’s elected Town Meeting Members are as follows: 

Precinct 2 (7 for 3 years)

AJAY T. JOSEPH 

MATTHEW COHEN 

BETSEY WEISS

MATTHEW P. DAGGETT

RITA B. GOLDBERG

RICKI PAPPO

EMILIE RINARD WEBSTER

We previously reported that in Precincts 1, 4, 8 and 9, there were one to two fewer candidates than open seats for each race. For each of these four precincts, a write-in candidate secured the missing seat(s):

Precinct 1 (7 for 3 years/ 1 for 1 year)

HONGBIN LUO

KATHERINE E. REYNOLDS

VALERIE G. OVERTON

LOIS ANGELO

LARRY D. FREEMAN

ERIC JAY MICHELSON

Stephanie Hsu – write-in

Jay Luker – write-in

Precinct 4 (7 for 3 years)

SANDRA J. SHAW 

GERALD PAUL 

LAWRENCE CHAN

NYLES NATHAN BARNERT 

WENDY MANZ (N)

KATHRYN A. ROY (N)
Susan A. McLeish 
– write-in

Precinct 8 (7 for 3 years)

ALAN MAYER LEVINE 

BETTY J. GAU

MARGARET S. ENDERS

VICTORIA C. BUCKLEY (N)

SUDHIR RANJAN (N)

MARGARET E. COPPE (N)

Alix Obrien Fox (write-in)

Precinct 9 (7 for 3 years / 3 for 1 year)

VICTORIA LAWRENCE BLIER 

JANET M. PERRY

THOMAS O. FENN

RODNEY COLE

SCOTT FOSTER BURSON 

DAVID M. SHEEHAN (N)

MICHAEL E. SCHROEDER (N)

VINEETA KUMAR (N)

MARK V. ANDERSEN (N)

Sue Kingsbury (write-in)

Precincts 3, 5, 6 and 7 were uncontested, with the number of candidates running equal to the number of open seats. Elected candidates are as follows: 

Precinct 3 (7 for 3 years / 1 for 1 year)

FRANKLIN E. SMITH

GLENN P. PARKER

JEANNE K. KRIEGER

DELANOT BASTIEN

COURTNEY MCCOLLUM APGAR 

CHRISTOPHER B. BUENROSTRO (N)

SALLYE F. BLEIBERG (N)

THOMAS RAMIRO DIAZ (N)

Precinct 5 (7 for 3 years)

JOHN ZHIQIANG ZHAO

M. MASHA TRABER

MELANIE A. THOMPSON 

JEROLD S. MICHELSON 

ANDREW JOSEPH FRIEDLICH 

MARILYN M. FENOLLOSA 

IRENE MARGARET DONDLEY

Precinct 6 (7 for 3 years)

DEBORAH COHEN STROD 

DAWN E. MCKENNA 

FREDERIC S. JOHNSON 

ANDREA J. FRIBUSH

 MARGARET L. COUNTS‐KLEBE 

SARA G. BOTHWELL ALLEN 

ERAN COHEN STROD (N)

Precinct 7 (7 for 3 years)

ROBERT D. PETERS

VIKAS KINGER

MARY CAUSEY HAMILTON

ROBERT K. CREECH 

PATRICIA ELEN COSTELLO 

MARY BURNELL 

CHRISTIAN L. BOUTWELL

That’s a wrap for tonight. A quick reminder that like we told you on Saturday, there will be no regular newsletter this Saturday, March 12. We’ll still be attending some important public meetings this week, but we’re going to take a week off our roundup to do some longer-term planning and big-picture thinking as Annual Town Meeting approaches (…anyway, you’re probably sick of hearing from us after this weekend’s onslaught of emails!). We’ll be back in your inboxes Saturday, March 19! And you’re as welcome as ever to share story ideas in the meantime. 

On that note: Was this coverage useful to you? What do you want to see in this email in the coming weeks? Let us know, and please ask your friends to sign up and donate too! Reach out to sophie@lexobserver.org with tips and questions anytime. As always, you can also check out and share our websiteTwitterInstagram and Facebook pages. Thanks so much for reading and we’ll see you next week!

With gratitude,
Nicco Mele, Sophie Culpepper, Sarah Liu, Vivian Wang and Seiya Saneyoshi
LexObserver Team

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