Martha’s Vineyard voters agree with the nation

Not just talking the talk, Tristan Israel, Tisbury selectman and candidate for re-election to county commissioner, walks the walk on his campaign's front lines. At left, Susanna Sturgis was an unsuccessful candidate for the Martha's Vineyard Commission. Non-voter Travvy is at center. — Photo by Susan Safford

President Obama was the overwhelming choice of Martha’s Vineyard voters Tuesday, as the Island turned out in force for the 2012 election. Mr. Obama won 7,906 votes in the six Island towns, while Republican challenger and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney got 2,753 votes. The president got 73 percent of the Island vote. Mr. Obama was elected to a second term.

Island towns also voted for Democrat Elizabeth Warren, in one of the nation’s most closely watched and heavily financed Senate races, over incumbent Republican Scott Brown. Ms. Warren got 7,321 votes, or 68 percent of the votes cast, while Mr. Brown got 3,473 votes. Ms. Warren was the victor in the statewide vote.

Incumbent William Keating defended his ninth congressional district seat with the help of winning margins in all six Island towns. Mr. Keating got 7,637 votes, defeating Republican challenger Christopher Sheldon, who got 2,164 votes.

Incumbent state senator Daniel Wolf and incumbent state representative Timothy Madden were reelected without opposition.

The races were considerably closer in Gosnold, the seventh Dukes County town.

President Obama got 49 votes, Mr. Romney got 36 votes. Sen. Brown was the choice of 44 Gosnold voters, Ms. Warren got 43 votes in the U.S. Senate race. William Keating got 45 votes in the ninth congressional district contest against Republican Christopher Sheldon, who got 31 votes.

Martha’s Vineyard Commission

In the spirited race for nine at-large seats on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC), Christina Brown of Edgartown topped the ballot with 5,075 votes, with all six Island towns reporting results. Tisbury businessman Clarence “Trip” Barnes, an outspoken opponent of the roundabout, was the second highest vote getter, with 4,841 votes.

Longtime MVC commissioner Linda Sibley of West Tisbury got 4,577 votes. John Breckenridge of Oak Bluffs received 3,847 votes. Douglas Sederholm of Chilmark was next with 3,844 votes. Eric Hammarlund of West Tisbury was sixth with 3,744 votes. Newcomer Madeleine Fisher of Edgartown, also a roundabout opponent, won 3,204 votes.

The eighth highest vote getter was Susanna Sturgis of West Tisbury, with 3,114 votes. But under the MVC rules, no more than two people from any one town may serve as elected members of the commission, and Ms. Sibley and Mr. Hammarlund, both of West Tisbury, got more votes than Ms. Sturgis.

Camille Rose of Aquinnah was reelected as the ninth highest vote getter, according to unofficial results, with 3,003 votes.

Joshua Goldstein of Tisbury was elected with 2,755 votes. He moves into the ninth elected seat, because Ms. Sturgis cannot serve.

Dukes County Commission

Only five people were named on the ballot for seven Dukes County Commission seats.

Island wide, John Alley of West Tisbury led the ballot with 6,541. Tristan Israel of Tisbury was next with 5,797 votes. Tom Hallahan of Oak Bluffs received 5,396 votes. Melinda Loberg of Tisbury got 4,713 votes, and newcomer Leon Brathwaite of West Tisbury got 4,615 votes.

Christine Todd of Oak Bluffs appeared headed toward a seat on the county commission, after staging a write-in campaign. According to unofficial totals reported by town officials, Ms. Todd got 182 write-in votes. Also elected was Edgartown firefighter James Klingensmith, with 36 write-in votes.

Peter Cabana of Tisbury got 23 votes, and former state police officer Dan Flynn got 22 votes.

The process of officially certifying the votes will take about two weeks.


All five referendum questions on the ballot won wide approval from Vineyard voters.

Question 1, a measure requiring automobile dealers to provide automobile owners and independent repair shops with the same vehicle repair and diagnostic information they provide to their own dealers won by a margin of 8,552 to 935.

Question 2, on the issue of physician assisted suicide, got 6,961 “yes” votes on the Island, and 3,467 “no” votes.

Voters approved Question 3, to legalize medical use of marijuana by a margin of 7,710 to 2,705.

Questions 4 and 5, non-binding referenda asking the state senator and state representative for the Cape & Islands to support a resolution allowing the federal and state governments to put limits on political contributions and political spending, were both approved by overwhelming margins.

The vote totals vary slightly from those reported by The Times on election night, because of updated totals from town officials.