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Election 2012 Predictions

June 1, 2012

Here are my predictions for the winners of the 2012 Walpole Town Election. Remember polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow.

See you at the polls.

I am cautiously optimistic that some of my predictions will be wrong, but my common sense tells me this will be another year when conservatives will lose big-time.

Conservative candidates, or lack thereof in some cases, were weak on all fronts. The departure of Russell Jones from the race for Selectmen in April was a significant hit to any hopes that a conservative would be elected to the town’s top board.

Selectmen: Chris Timson and Nancy Mackenzie

The two incumbents look to be shoo-ins for re-election thanks to a relatively weak field of opponents, along with an impressive unified force from the pro-school voters.

Christopher Donovan could pull off an upset, considering Mackenzie’s struggles and depending on turnout of anti-override voters. Of all the challengers, Donovan has the best chance of knocking off Mackenzie. Donovan has been hampered by low name recognition though. His campaign is also reminiscent of Russell Jones’ campaign last year that gained significant momentum in the final weeks before the election but ultimately couldn’t overcome a split in the conservative vote. With Bill Hamilton emphasizing his conservative stances on fiscal issues in his campaign this year more than he has in past years, he and Rob Luce could split the vote and keep Donovan off. It will also be interesting to see how many people vote for Russell Jones despite him not actively campaigning and not wanting to be elected.

Timson is almost definitely a sure bet for re-election.

School Committee: Shield, Geosits, Sheehan

Patrick Shield will finally get his long-awaited due and will win a seat on the School Committee. He will come in first place since his moderate stance on fiscal issues draws support from both override supporters and override opponents. Also he has wide name recognition from his past two campaigns for Selectman.

Christine Coury will once again be the odd one out.

There seems to be a misconception out there that Coury is pro-override and is more of the same. That may be preventing many override opponents from voting for her.

Override: Win

For weeks, I have been predicting the override would win. I really do believe there is enough support out there for it to win. However, most people I speak to who are credible on predictions like this have said they think the override will lose. I am inclined to trust their more seasoned judgment, but I still think this will pass. Regardless, this will be the marquee race to watch. It will set the pace for the rest of the candidates on the ballot.

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