Dakin, Whalen, Gustafson take Chester Select Board seats; road bond issue passes in Chester

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Candidate Leigh Dakin accepts blankets from husband Bill while campaigning in sunny but frigid weather on Tuesday. Photo by Cynthia Prairie

Veteran office holder Leigh Dakin cruised to a write-in victory over political newcomer Scott Blair, co-owner of the Southern Pie Company and the Main Street Coffee & Scoop Shoppe, on Tuesday evening making the composition of the Chester Select Board 40 percent female for the first time.

Dakin, who served nine years on the Select Board and six in the Vermont legislature, took the seat by a near 4 to 1 margin over Blair, 201 to 56.

With temperatures in the teens and low 20s, Dakin spent most of the day greeting voters and asking for support in her campaign. In the same race, Ben Whalen was re-elected to a one-year seat with 384 votes and Lee Gustafson upgraded from a one-year seat to three years with 405 votes.

Apparently, several voters tried to boost Dakin’s chances by voting for her in both the spaces provided for write-ins, but according to Vermont law, those folks just threw away one of their votes.

Will Senning, who oversees elections for the Vermont Secretary of State, told The Telegraph that state statutes prohibit more than one vote for one person for the same position.

David Lord was re-elected as a Whiting Library trustee as was newcomer Ed Grossman and Lois Perlah and Mike Studin took three-year seats and Rick Alexander renewed his one-year post on the Green Mountain Unified School District board.

Finally, the bond issue that included the paving budget for the Grafton Road — Route 35 — passed 301 to 30 so drive slowly and watch out for the flaggers when the weather breaks.

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