WILMINGTON, MA — Who doesn’t love a political comeback story? After 18 years out of town politics, former Selectman Frank West was returned to the Select Board by voters in Saturday’s Town Election.
According to unofficial results from the Town Clerk’s office, West topped the ticket in a 3-candidate race for 2 seats. He received 572 votes. West will be joined by incumbent Gary DePalma, who earned a second term by garnering 556 votes. Challenge James DeFeo was unsuccessful in his bid, receiving just 400 votes.
Many political observes saw West as the underdog, as DePalma — former Chair of the Wilmington Democratic Town Committee and campaign manager for State Representative Dave Robertson — was the incumbent, while DeFeo had an impressive personal background (veteran, police officer, small business owner, and union leader), who was publicly backed by many current and former Select Board members.
West, however, had strong name recognition who built up a positive reputation with voters, not only from his previous time on the Board (2005-2008), but his extensive volunteerism in the community, including current leadership roles in the Minutemen, American Legion, Kiwanis, Boy Scouts, and Toys for Tots. West, a lifelong resident, also owns a real estate company in town.
The rest of the ballot featured uncontested races — School Committee Chair Jennifer Bryson and political newcomer Michael Mercaldi both received 645 votes, while the town’s Director of Veterans Services Director and former Selectman Lou Cimaglia received 763 voters to join the Housing Authority.
Select Board Chair Judy O’Connell, School Committee member Melissa Plowman, and Housing Authority Chair Robert DiPasquale did not seek re-election.
Only 911 voters — representing a 5.2% turnout — went to the polls.
In 2024, the following seats will be up for grabs:
- 1 Select Board seat (currently held by Lil Maselli)
- 2 School Committee seats (currently held by David Ragsdale & MJ Byrnes)
- 1 Shawsheen Tech School Committee seat (currently held by Charlie Fiore)
- Town Moderator (currently held by Jonathan Eaton)
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