WILMINGTON, MA — First time candidates Ed Loud and Jennifer Bryson topped their respective tickets, while Wilmington voters also returned incumbents Mike McCoy and Steve Bjork to their seats in Saturday’s Annual Town Election.
Ed Loud (1,849 votes) and Mike McCoy (1,481 votes) defeated Kevin MacDonald and last minute write-in candidate Kenneth Dorothy to earn seats on the Wilmington Board of Selectmen, while Jennifer Bryson (1,644 votes) and Steve Bjork (1,507) were victorious in a 6-way race for Wilmington School Committee.
The Winners React
“It was not Ed Loud running. It really was a team of people running,” Loud told WCTV. “I want to thank my supporters, family and friends – I can’t thank my wife Doreen and mother-in-law Marilyn enough for their support and guidance… My three kids worked just as hard as I did. They were there for me. They were my social media gurus.”
“I was nervous all day. I didn’t sleep well at all [Friday] night. Now I can’t wait until Monday night [and my first Selectmen’s meeting],” continued Loud. “I’m going to work with the entire board, including Mr. McCoy, and do what’s best for the townspeople.”
“I congratulate Mr. McCoy for getting elected. He deserves it. He has done a lot for this community. I look forward to working with him,” added Loud, extending an olive branch to McCoy.
“I’m very pleased… I didn’t have the star power that Mr. Loud did. It was just me and my family. My wife was my campaign manager and treasurer – she did it all. I didn’t have the ‘who’s who’ of Wilmington supporting me, like current and past Selectmen and all the big families of Wilmington,” Selectman McCoy told WCTV. “I ran on my own and didn’t rely on any star power.”
“You look at [recent elections] in nearby communities, like Tewksbury and Billerica, and the incumbents lost. It’s been very anti-incumbent… I’m still here. I did my best,” continued McCoy. “I’m ‘old school.’ I feel the voters really need to see who [the candidate] truly is… I didn’t take anything for granted and ran like I was an underdog. I’ve been campaigning since November.”
“I congratulate Mr. Loud. I’m willing to work with anybody as long as they have the best interest of the town,” added McCoy, who noted while he didn’t ‘top the ticket’ this year, it could be a different story in 3 years.
“I’m very excited. I want to thank Wilmington and all the residents for electing me. I feel honored to be a voice for our town. I can assure you I will do my best work and continue to make improvements in our school district,” new School Committee member Jennifer Bryson told WCTV. “I will work very hard for you. I will be your voice. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me.”
“I really wanted this, but I feel like I had a lot of people behind me who wanted this too. I didn’t want to disappoint them,” continued Bryson. She thanked her campaign team, including campaign manager Jen Bolanos and social media coordinator Jen Kennedy. She also thanked three very special, “amazing” supporters – her husband Jeff and their two kids.
Bryson looks forward to her first School Committee Meeting on Wednesday. She would like an update on the Superintendent Search and would hope to find a permanent candidate by September 1. Special education, school bus safety, and anti-bullying are issues she intends on focusing on immediately.
School Committee Vice Chair Steve Bjork was unable to attend the swearing-in ceremony as he was performing at charity event, but he did post this brief message on his campaign Facebook page:
“It was a good turnout today. We had over 2,800 voters,” announced Town Clerk Sharon George. “It’s been a good day. Everyone was very cooperative. All my election workers and staff worked very hard.” (With 17,099 registered voters in town, Wilmington Apple puts turnout at 16%, but that’s not an official figure.)
“[Kenneth Dorothy] did a pretty good job for a write-in candidate,” noted George in response to a question from WCTV. George agreed it was the most successful write-in campaign in recent history in town. “I only received an email around noontime today advising me of the write-in campaign.” Dorothy has already announced via social media that he intends on running a traditional campaign next year.
George noted the Selectmen’s race received an additional 50 write-in votes other than Dorothy, which will officially be recorded as “blanks.”
Board of Selectmen (2 seats, 3-year term)
- Ed Loud — 1,849
- Mike McCoy (incumbent) — 1,481
- Kevin MacDonald — 577
- Kenneth Dorothy (write-in) — 425
(NOTE: Wilmington Apple estimates approximately 1,200 blanks in this race, which would seem to indicate bullet voting — only voting for one candidate — was a factor. )
Wilmington School Committee (2 seats, 3-year term)
- Jennifer Bryson — 1,644
- Steve Bjork (incumbent) — 1,507
- Kathi O’Donoghue — 880
- Amy Largenton — 349
- Rhonda Musikar-Rosner — 178
- Sabrina Hewitt — 163
Wilmington Housing Authority (1 seat, 5-year term)
- Stacie Murphy (incumbent) — 2,086
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