Holden, Dakin win Chester Select Board seats Wade, Alexander eke out wins in close GM school board race

By Cynthia Prairie
©2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Jeff Holden, left, and Leigh Dakin

It was inevitable that Chester voters on Tuesday would elect new members to its most important boards: The Select Board and the board of directors of the Green Mountain Unified School District which saw the only contested seats of the day.

But the number of new members was the only question, since two newcomers and one incumbent were vying for two seats on each of the boards.

In the end political newcomer but veteran public servant Jeff Holden was elected to a one-year seat on the Chester Select Board along with incumbent Leigh Dakin, who smoked the field with 608 votes.

Holden, Chester’s superintendent for water and sewer, forest fire warden and a part time police officer, racked up 477 votes with business owner Scott Blair coming in third with 391 votes.

Holden’s first meeting as Select Board member will be Wednesday night, when the board will reorganize. Arne Jonynas was re-elected to a three year term on the board running unopposed.

Wade takes GM seat in a very close race

Jeannie Wade, left, and Rick Alexander

In an interesting turn in the race for the GM District Board, Jeannie Wade outpolled her two opponents with 448 votes to incumbent Rick Alexander’s 446 and Patty Davenport’s 435.

Both Wade and Davenport are new to the local political scene but have strong credentials in education and in working with young people. Wade has a master’s in Education, Davenport holds a Master’s in Counseling.  But Wade  — of all the candidates — mounted what was as close to a real campaign as Chester has seen in a while.

She purchased campaign ads, sat for a video interview with SAPA-TV and spent Tuesday in front of Town Hall — next to Leigh Dakin — button-holing voters and handing out cookies.

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 40 years. Cynthia has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland, and has won numerous state awards for her reporting. As an editor, she has overseen her staffs to win many awards for indepth coverage. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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