The Vineyard voted in line with the rest of the commonwealth Tuesday, backing Democratic U.S. Cong. Edward Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez, a former naval special warfare lieutenant commander, in the state primary to replace Sen. John Kerry, who resigned in January to become secretary of state.
Town clerks reported relatively low turnout, around 19.5 per cent Islandwide, with slightly higher turnout in Chilmark and Tisbury, which also held town elections. The two town elections featured no contested races but several ballot questions related to spending, all of which passed.
Voters in the state primary were presented with a choice between Mr. Markey, congressman from Malden, and U.S. Cong. Stephen F. Lynch of South Boston on the Democratic ballot. There was a three-way race on the Republican primary ballot between Mr. Gomez; Plymouth district attorney Michael J. Sullivan, who lives in Abington; and state Rep. Daniel B. Winslow of Norfolk.
Mr. Markey got 79 per cent of the Democratic vote on the Vineyard, while 20 per cent of Democratic voters went for Mr. Lynch.
On the Republican ballot, Mr. Gomez won 58 per cent of votes, compared to Mr. Sullivan’s 35 per cent. Mr. Winslow came in last at 7 per cent. Statewide, Mr. Markey earned 57 per cent of the Democratic vote, compared to Mr. Lynch’s 43 per cent, according to preliminary data provided by the Associated Press. Mr. Gomez won 51 per cent of the statewide Republican vote; Mr. Sullivan got 36 per cent and Mr. Wilson 13 per cent.
Mr. Markey and Mr. Gomez will now face off in a special election on June 25.
In Edgartown, Democratic voters heavily favored Mr. Markey. Of the 349 ballots cast, Mr. Markey got 274 votes, or 79 per cent, to Mr. Lynch’s 75 votes. There were 134 Republican ballots cast, with Mr. Gomez winning 66 per cent, or 88 votes. Mr. Sullivan followed with 25 per cent 34, while Mr. Winslow got 12 votes. Voter turnout was 15 per cent.
Almost 20 per cent of Aquinnah’s 378 registered voters cast ballots. Of the 74 voters, 72 voted in the Democratic primary, with Mr. Markey getting 88 per cent of the vote, or 63 votes, to nine votes for Mr. Lynch. Mr. Gomez won the Republican primary in Aquinnah, with the only two Republican votes going his way.
At 28 per cent, voter turnout in Chilmark was the highest on the Island, owing to the town’s annual election.
Mr. Gomez got the Republican vote by 47 per cent, or 28 votes, while Mr. Sullivan got 22 votes and Mr. Winslow got three votes. Mr. Markey got 169 votes for 84 per cent of Democratic ballots. Mr. Lynch got 31 votes.
Mr. Markey easily won West Tisbury, picking up 86 per cent, or 340, of the Democratic votes. Mr. Lynch got 57 votes. Mr. Gomez won about 56 per cent of the Republican ballots cast in West Tisbury, getting 41 votes. Mr. Sullivan got 30 votes, and two voters went for Mr. Winslow. Turnout in West Tisbury was about 19 per cent.
In Tisbury, Mr. Markey got 384 votes to Mr. Lynch’s 120 in the Democratic primary. In the Republican race, Mr. Gomez picked up 77 votes. Mr. Sullivan trailed with 46, while Mr. Winslow got nine votes. Approximately 20 per cent of voters participated in the primary and Tisbury annual election.
Oak Bluffs followed along with the rest of the Island, with Democratic voters going for Mr. Markey by 320 votes to 100 votes. On the Republican side, Mr. Gomez got 59 votes compared to 44 votes for Mr. Sullivan and eight votes for Mr. Winslow. About 15 per cent of Oak Bluffs voters, or 534 voters, came to the polls.
Also on Tuesday, Chilmark voters also tackled three ballot spending questions in their annual election, all of which passed by overwhelming margins.
The first question, which asked whether the town can assess an additional $300,000 in real estate and personal property taxes to fund the up-Island regional school district’s operating budget, was approved 184 to 65.
A request to assess an additional $80,000 in real estate and personal property taxes for repairs to the Chilmark School passed 184 to 66.
Voters also approved $31,000 in additional real estate and property taxes to purchase and equip a new police vehicle was also approved 185 to 67.
Selectmen Jonathan Mayhew was elected with 212 votes.
Also elected with no contest: Clarissa Allen, board of assessors; Katherine Carroll, board of health; Matthew Poole, board of health; J. Norman Freed, library trustee; Sam Feldman, fence viewer; Janet Weidner, planning board; Clarissa Allen, site review committee; Keith Emin, tree warden; Melanie Becker, treasurer; Everett Poole, moderator.
Several positions saw no candidates running for election. The top two write-in candidates for financial committee were Thomas Bena, 6 votes, and Linda Coutinho, 3 votes; top write-in candidate for surveyor of wood, lumber and bark, Keith Emin, 10; top write-in candidate for cemetery commissioner, Rodney Bunker, 12.
In the Tisbury annual election, voters passed a ballot question for an override to fund construction of a connector road off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road 312 to 236. The article for the connector road failed on Tisbury town meeting floor on April 9, however, rendering the ballot decision moot.
There were no contested races.
Tristan Israel was elected to his seventh term on the board of selectmen with 522 votes.
Also elected without contest: Angela Cywinski, town assessor; Michael Loberg, board of health; Colleen McAndrews, Tisbury School committee, Elmer Silva, water commissioner; Henry Stephenson, planning board; Denys Wortman, board of public works; and Ian Aitchison, Karen Ann Casper and James Norton, library trustees.
Bruce Llewelyn and Benjamin Waldrop were elected to three-year terms on the financial advisory committee, with the remaining two three-year spots filled by write-in candidates Hilary Conklin, who is also secretary for the board of selectmen, and Tom Keller. There were two spots left unfilled for two-year terms on the financial advisory committee. Because of conflict-of-interest town bylaws, however, the top write-in candidate is ineligible for a spot. Ms. Conklin, already elected to the three-year term, received the second highest number of votes. Massachusetts state laws dictate that the spots will now be filled by appointment.
Despite a slow trickle of voters in the morning, Tisbury town clerk Marion Mudge said the pace at the polls picked up throughout the day, with 1,370 votes in total being cast in both the state primary and town election.
“It’s more than 1,200, which even if you divide in half [for each election], it’s still . . . more than I was expecting,” said Ms. Mudge as poll workers cleaned up their spaces in the Tisbury Emergency Management Services Building Tuesday night.