Dan Larkosh wins for rep
Island attorney Dan Larkosh emerged from a crowded Democratic primary race for state representative with a convincing victory in voting Tuesday. Mr. Larkosh won 1,722 votes in the district that covers Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and part of Falmouth.
"We're not celebrating yet," said Mr. Larkosh, who was out with several supporters early Wednesday morning, thanking voters and removing campaign signs. "We still have a general election. We're going to start working on that right away."
Independent candidate Tim Madden placed second in the balloting with 1,401 votes, though his name did not appear on the ballot. Mr. Madden ran a write-in campaign, winning 1,269 in his home town of Nantucket. Mr. Madden won only 12 votes on Martha's Vineyard. He earned 120 write-in votes in Falmouth, which were not tallied until Wednesday afternoon, according to the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror.
Chilmark resident Tim Lasker was third with 1,320 votes, after carrying five of the six Vineyard towns. Mr. Lasker got 1,185 votes, or 43 percent of the votes cast on the Vineyard, compared with 752 votes for Mr. Larkosh.
"I couldn't be more proud of the effort on the Vineyard," said Mr. Lasker. While he wasn't making any commitments, Mr. Lasker said the support of Island voters could lead to another foray into politics. "I'll take a look at every opportunity down the road."
It was the mainland vote that propelled Mr. Larkosh of West Tisbury to victory in the hotly contested primary race to fill the seat of retiring state representative Eric Turkington. Mr. Larkosh focused much of his campaign effort on Falmouth and was rewarded with 888 votes. He estimated that his campaign had contacted 3,000 voters in Falmouth through letters, phone calls, or personal introductions. It was enough to offset Mr. Madden's strength on Nantucket, and Mr. Lasker's strength on the Vineyard.
Roger Wey, an Oak Bluffs selectman, Dukes County commissioner, and the director of the town's council on aging, carried his hometown vote. Mr. Wey captured 353 votes, or 45 percent of the votes cast, in Oak Bluffs.
Adding a twist to the political equation was Catherine O'Brien-Bumpus, who withdrew from the race months ago. Her name remained on the ballot, however, and she won nine percent of the votes cast, including 448 votes in her hometown of Falmouth.
Mr. Larkosh faces no Republican opposition in the general election on November 4. Mr. Madden, as well as Falmouth resident Melissa Freitag and Vineyard Haven resident Jacob Ferreira have filed to run as independent candidates in the general election.
As for general election strategy, Mr. Larkosh is waiting for the fallout to settle. "It's going to depend on what Mr. Madden decides to do," said Mr. Larkosh. "He has a decision to make."
The democratic primary for three open seats on the Dukes County Commission presented an unusual situation that sent candidates, voters, and reporters scrambling to sort out the possible scenarios.
Only three names appeared on the Democratic primary ballot for the three open seats. Incumbent Lenny Jason Jr. won 1,510 votes, followed by challenger Linda Sibley, also with 1,510 votes, and incumbent John Alley, with 1,352 votes. All three candidates earned a spot on the general election ballot. However, the county charter prohibits more than two people from any one Island town. Ms. Sibley and Mr. Alley, both residents of West Tisbury, cannot both serve on the commission. Commission chairman Leslie Leland, who is not up for re-election, is also a resident of West Tisbury.
That leaves the race open to a write-in candidate, and three Island residents - Mimi Davisson, Thomas Hallahan, and Dan Flynn, all of Oak Bluffs - mounted last minute write-in campaigns. None received enough votes to win a spot on the general election ballot as a Democrat. Though some doubt remains about the process and the outcome, it appears no candidate reached the threshold necessary to appear on the ballot as a Republican candidate, either. In the Republican primary, where there were no names on the ballot, Ms. Davisson received 24 write-in votes, Mr. Hallahan got 22, and Mr. Flynn got 15.
In order to appear on the general election ballot as a Republican, a candidate would have to receive a minimum of 25 votes, the same number of signatures a declared candidate would need to submit nomination papers.
In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, incumbent John Kerry easily outpaced party challenger Edward O'Reilly. Mr. Kerry won 2,236 votes on Martha's Vineyard, while Mr. O'Reilly won 476 votes. Mr. Kerry will face Jeffrey Beatty in the fall election. Mr. Beatty won 198 votes in the six Island towns, running unopposed in the Republican primary.