Teitelbaum, Whiteside elected to Board of Selectmen

Jun 23, 2020

Wareham voters elected Judith Whiteside and reelected Peter Teitelbaum as Selectmen in Tuesday’s election, and approved a number of incumbent and unopposed candidates.

Whiteside won 679 votes, while Teitelbaum won 559. Ron Besse, a newcomer with a focus on business, received 487 votes, while Santagate, who emphasized empathy and services for townspeople, received 369 votes. 

Whiteside has a long history of service to the town, including terms on the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee. Whiteside will fill the seat left by Mary Mackey, who chose not to run for reelection.

Teitelbaum has served on the Board of Selectmen since 2012. 

“I’m proud and humbled that the people decided to return me to office, especially in difficult times,” Teitelbaum said. 

“I just would like to thank everyone who came out to vote, and I really  want to thank my campaign team for their support and guidance,” Whiteside said. “I’m looking forward to a very challenging few months due to the fiscal crisis throughout the Commonwealth.” 

Although he wasn’t elected this year, Besse said he plans to run again next year and to continue building the platform he created through his campaign.

“I thank my supporters, the people who came out to vote for me, and now, over the next year, I’ll continue building on what I want to accomplish, and start working on some of those things even though I’m not in office,” Besse said. He noted that he came in only 75 votes behind Teitelbaum, which he said was a “powerful statement from the town.”  

On Tuesday night, Santagate said that she had no comment about the results.

Incumbent Joyce Bacchiocchi and newcomer Kevin Brogioli were elected to the School Committee. Bacchiocchi won 823 votes, and Brogioli won 905.

James McCahill and Priscilla Porter were reelected to the Board of Assessors, with 849 and 863 votes, respectively. David Halberstadt was newly elected as Assessor with 847 votes.

Overall voter turnout was up from 2019’s town election, when 9 percent of voters participated. This year, 14 percent voted.

Donna Bronk and William Lockwood were reelected to the Housing Authority with 834 and 828 votes, respectively.

Shelli Mibilia was elected as a constable with 822 votes.

Donna Bronk was reelected as a Sewer User Commissioner with 874 votes, and Malcolm White was reelected as an at-large Sewer Commissioner with 865 votes.

At around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the Town Hall Auditorium was nearly empty. 

“This is a very, very slow day,” said Clerk Hazel Taber, adding that voters had been coming in at a rate of about 15 people per hour. 

She said that in a typical election, people would be waiting in lines outside the door to get in for their turn to vote. 

Checkers Linda Kawadler and Charlotte Short said that it was easy to maintain social distancing, since there were so few people in the building at any one time. 

They wore masks, and a glass shield was placed on their table to offer extra protection between them and voters. 

While they admitted that wearing the masks can be uncomfortable, they said it was a necessary precaution to keep everyone safe from the virus.

Due to the pandemic, the town encouraged residents to vote early or absentee to avoid crowding at the polls. A total of about 590 ballots were sent out, and 438 of those were returned.