Denys Wortman Wins Handily In Race for Tisbury Selectman

By MAX HART

Easily beating out a crowded field in the race for selectman, Denys Wortman won the seat by a four-to-one margin in the Tisbury annual town election Tuesday. Mr. Wortman received 399 votes, while the four other candidates trailed far behind. Jamie Douglas finished with 104 votes, George Balco had 89, Nancy Hall captured 88 and Jared Meader had 46.

The five selectmen candidates were running for the seat left open by outgoing selectman Raymond LaPorte, who did not seek re-election. Total voter turnout was anemic, with 735 voters, or just 27 per cent of the 2,707 registered casting ballots.

Voters also approved a Proposition 2 1/2 override request for $250,000 to bury overhead utility wires in underground conduit along Union street. The final tally was 459-214.

And while she lost in the race for selectman, Ms. Hall won election to the finance and advisory committee as a write-in candidate. Ms. Hall received 35 votes, followed by Peter Hefler (27 votes), George Balco (15), and Peter Duart (13) for a fourth seat on the committee. Ms. Hall joins David F. Willoughby, Melinda F. Loberg and Jonathan V. Snyder, who were also elected to three-year terms, with 451, 454 and 404 votes respectively.

In the only other contested race, Nina C. Carter, with 460 votes, Barbara Lewis Howell, with 420 votes and Ann Merry Metcalf with 345 votes were each elected to three-year terms as library trustees, beating out Anna Marie D'Addaire, who received 246 votes.

An elated Mr. Wortman, who spent eight hours at the edge of the polling station at the American Legion Hall on Tuesday, said afterwards he was both surprised and encouraged at the wide margin of victory.

"I feel really good about it," said Mr. Wortman, who is a retired investment advisor and member of the town finance committee. "The town really backed me and I am excited to get started."

Mr. Wortman, who was sworn in on Tuesday evening, went into town hall Wednesday morning to sign his first piece of paperwork as a selectman. He said his first priority was to meet with town administrator John Bugbee.

"We have a lot on our plate and I want to get down to business," he said. "We have a police chief to hire and a lot of other things to do. I'm looking forward to it."

Mr. Wortman also praised his opponents and said he would encourage them to stay active in town government.

Elected without contest on Tuesday were:

Mark J. Campos and Remo L. Fullin, Jr., constable, three years; David Dandridge, assessor, three years; James S. Pringle, board of health, three years; Robert Tankard, school committee, three years; Ralph M. Packer Jr., water commission, three years; L. Anthony Peak, planning board, five years; Anne C. Lucas, library trustee, one year; and Arthur B. Dickson and John Thayer, public works commission, three years.

Mr. Tankard, who will begin his third term on the school committee, was top vote-getter with 588 votes.