MANCHESTER, NH —As the dust settles from Tuesday’s election, we have some new faces on both the Board of Aldermen and Board of School Committee who will now help map out the city’s 2020 vision.
We also have a nine-member School Charter Commission, which will begin the process of deliberating over charter changes that could lead to allowing the district to control its own budget. Their official charge is to “revise, amend, or replace the Manchester school district charter in the form of a ballot question to the Manchester school district voters for a vote at the November 2020 regular election.” In 2001 city voters passed a charter amendment that made the school district a city department.
Because of state laws governing city charters, the formulation of a new charter commission was made possible by legislation, HB 544, “An Act Relative to the Governance of the Manchester School District,” filed by state Rep. Pat Long, a current school board member and Ward 3 Alderman-elect.
There was some pre-election drama when the validity of the process was challenged by State Rep. Mark Warden, who questioned the city’s timetable for candidate filing. The city was granted a stay on that injunction by the state Supreme Court the day before election day. However, the merits of Warden’s complaint have not yet been decided, and it is uncertain how that would affect the charter commission formation or function going forward. The matter will be settled in court.
Board of Aldermen – click here for voters’ guide bios.
Ward 1: Incumbent Kevin Cavanaugh retained his seat, defeating Jeff Nyhan 1,923 to 642.
Ward 2: Incumbent Will Stewart easily won over opponent Tyler Chase, 1,520 to 362.
Ward 3: Pat Long, who served previously as Ward 3 Alderman until losing his seat in 2017 to Tim Baines, won over Daniel Heck, 671 to 231. Pat Long was appointed to take over as school board member at-large in 2018 after Nancy Tessier stepped down. Baines did not seek reelection.
Ward 4: Jim Roy, a former Ward 4 Alderman, beat incumbent Chris Herbert by nine votes, 561 to 552.
Ward 5: Incumbent Tony Sapienza beat political newcomer Marcus Ponce de Leon, 487 to 257.
Ward 6: Incumbent Elizabeth Ann Moreau beat Gerry Gibson by a large margin, 1,175 to 642.
Ward 7: Ross Terrio, who has served as a school board representative, beat Brenda Noiseux 704 to 635. Terrio did not seek reelection for the school board.
Ward 8: Michael Porter beat opponent Michael Farley, 1,051 to 876. Current Ward 8 Alderman John Cataldo did not seek reelection.
Ward 9: Incumbent Barbara Shaw beat Daniel Leclerc, 838 to 719.
Ward 10: Incumbent Bill Barry beat opponent Raymond Hebert, 838 to 694.
Ward 11: Incumbent Norm Gamache beat opponent and former alderman Russ Ouellette, 466 to 440.
Ward 12: Incumbent Keith Hirschmann beat Hassan Essa, 757 to 702. This was a second run-off for the two candidates, who had a similar outcome in 2017, with Hirschmann beating Essa 863 to 796.
Board of School Committee – click here for voters guide bios.
Ward 1: Newcomer James Porter beat his opponent, Amber Jodoin, 1,334 to 935. Current Ward 1 board member Sarah Ambrogi did not seek reelection.
Ward 2: Incumbent Kathleen Kelley Arnold beat Sean Parr, 961 to 784. Arnold was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board after Ward 2 member Dave Scannell resigned his seat due to moving out of the ward.
Ward 3: Newcomer Karen Soule unseated incumbent Mary Ngwanda Georges, 433 to 401.
Ward 4: Incumbent Leslie Want retained her seat over Mark Flanders, 596 to 499, a similar margin to the 2017 election results, when Want beat Flanders, 682 to 592.
Ward 5: Newcomer Jeremy Dobson beat incumbent Lisa Freeman 389 to 375.
Ward 6: Incumbent Dan Bergeron again beat challenger Jon DiPietro, 1,020 to 830. In 2017 Bergeron beat DiPietro, 1,143 to 1,093.
Ward 7: Bill Shea beat newcomer Chris Potter, 670 to 637. Shea, who is currently an alderman and longtime educator, decided to shift over to seek a seat on the school board. Ross Terrio won the Ward 7 Aldermanic seat.
Ward 8: Peter Perich beat incumbent Jimmy Lehoux, 1,144 to 903. Perich is a longtime educator in the city.
Ward 9: Incumbent Art Beaudry beat Candace Moulton 872 to 653.
Ward 10: Jane Beaulieu beat incumbent John Avard 796 to 636.
Ward 11: Nicole Leapley beat challenger Brittany Leclear-Ping, 505 to 351. Current Ward 11 board member Katie Desrochers decided not to seek reelection and instead ran for At-Large Alderman. She did not win that seat.
Ward 12: Incumbent Kelly Thomas beat Andrew Toland, 720 to 607.
At-Large: James O’Connell and Joseph LaChance will represent the constituents as at-large members. Current At-Large member Rich Girard did not seek reelection, and Pat Long, who replaced Nancy Tessier in 2018 who resigned for health reasons, also did not seek reelection to the school board. Long ran for and won back the Ward 3 Aldermanic seat this time around.
School Charter Commission – click here for voters guide bios
The nine top vote-getters from the 37-member slate are:
Lou D’Allesandro: 7,138 votes
Kathleen Sullivan: 6,671
John Clayton: 6,447 votes
Tim Baines: 5,674 votes
Joseph Lachance: 5,663
Will Infantine: 5,585 votes
Mike Lopez: 4,741
Jimmy Lehoux: 4,479
Mary Freitas: 4,211