Geoghan Coogan unopposed for seat father held
When Geoghan Coogan took out his nomination papers in March to run for Tisbury selectman in the April 28 annual town election, he thought he would at the least be up against incumbent Denys Wortman. However, learning that Mr. Coogan was running, Mr. Wortman subsequently announced he would not seek reelection to a second term and would support Mr. Coogan instead.
"When you get a good person, and especially someone that can serve the town for maybe many years to come, you want to encourage that," Mr. Wortman said at the March 5 Tisbury selectmen's meeting. Since no one else took out papers, Mr. Coogan will be the lone candidate for selectman on next week's ballot.
If there is such a thing as a selectman's gene, Mr. Coogan may very well be carrying it. His father, Edmond G. Coogan, a well-respected Vineyard Haven attorney, was a selectman in Oak Bluffs before moving to Tisbury where he was a selectman until his death in 2001. His uncle, Greg Coogan currently serves as an Oak Bluffs selectman.
Although Mr. Coogan was born in Oak Bluffs, he spent most of his childhood growing up in Tisbury after his family moved to Crocker Avenue when he was in third grade.
Mr. Coogan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Michael's College in Vermont in 1994. He went on to attend Suffolk Law School. During his second year there, his father died.
Mr. Coogan decided to keep his father's Vineyard law practice going. Over the next year and a half, until he finished law school and passed the bar exam, he traveled back and forth from Boston to the Vineyard to oversee the law office. He moved back to the Vineyard full-time in 2002 after law school.
Mr. Coogan and his wife, Catherine, married in May 2003. They have three children. John, almost five, starts kindergarten at Tisbury School next fall. Daughters Jane and Emily, 17 months old, are "wreaking as much havoc as one would expect from twin toddlers," he said.
His sister Nell Coogan, also an attorney, is Martha's Vineyard's legislative liaison for state Representative Tim Madden.