Aquinnah voters chose former Wampanoag Tribe chairman Beverly Wright to take a seat on the three-member board of selectmen. Voting yesterday, May 11, the decision went the challenger’s way, 124-95, to unseat incumbent selectman Camille Rose.
A total of 225 voters cast votes. Of the town’s 398 registered voters, a significant number cast absentee ballots, town clerk Carolyn Feltz said.
Ms. Wright joins a board that includes Jim Newman and Spencer Booker. Mr. Booker is also a member of the Wampanoag Tribe.
Ms. Rose, who was often at odds with the tribe, had sought a third term. “Thanks to all who voted for me,” Ms. Rose said in comments to The Times following the election. “I hope that the progress we have made in efficient town government will continue.”
How the election of Ms. Wright will affect the tribal-town relationship cannot be forecast. Ms. Wright was chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe for five terms, from 1992 to 2004. She is currently an elected member of the tribal council and a board member of various tribe and Native American organizations.
In an interview last week with The Times, Ms. Wright, who divides her time between Aquinnah and Charleston, West Virginia, stressed the need for better communication.
“In representing all of the constituents of Aquinnah, communication will be the first step to resolving issues,” she said. “My belief is that there are no winners and no losers. I would strive for compromise where everyone feels that they have gained.”
There were no other contests on the election ballot. Running unopposed were: library trustee Jean Lince; planning board members Peter Temple and Jed Smith; board of health member Sarah Saltonstall; assessors Michael Stutz; and the town clerk, Ms. Feltz.