Selectman Slavin stays, School Committee member Swett ousted in Wareham election

Apr 4, 2018

Selectman Alan Slavin kept his seat and longtime School Committee member Geoff Swett lost his position in Wareham’s town election Tuesday.

Slavin bested a challenge from Planning Board member Marc Bianco. Slavin earned 830 votes to Bianco’s 616 for a three-year term. A third candidate, Mary Bruce, earned 1,243 votes in her uncontested race for Selectman Judy Whiteside’s former seat. Whiteside resigned last year for an unspecified personal reason. Bruce’s term is for two years.

Bianco said he may consider a run for the board next year.

“I think it was a good effort by everyone and fair play,” Bianco said. “This was the voice of the people, and I wish the best for Alan and Mary.”

Bruce, who volunteers with the Wareham Garden Club and Beach and Tourism Committee, echoed those sentiments.

“I’m just thankful for everyone who came out,” she said. “I can’t wait to get to work.”

Slavin could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.

Swett lost his seat after serving for 12 years on the School Committee. In the three-way race for two seats, Swett garnered 731 votes. Challengers Mike Flaherty and Rebekah Pratt earned 895 and 908 votes, respectively.

Flaherty will return to the board after a previous three-year stint. He stepped down in 2015 to spend more time with his family.

“I’m elated to have a second chance,” said Flaherty. “I’m thankful for the support and am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Flaherty said the committee has several important issues to deal, including a decision to close Minot Forest Elementary.

Pratt moved to town a few years ago and has a daughter attending Wareham High School. She told voters some of the major issues facing the district is teacher and student retention and changing a negative perception of Wareham schools.

“I am beyond excited,” she said about winning. “I’m looking forward to coming together as a committee and working as a team.”

Swett could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night.

In total, 1,478 voters cast ballots on Tuesday, marking a 10 percent turnout. Last year, 2 percent of registered voters participated in the election, which had no contested seats.

Town Clerk Mary Ann Silva said the election went smoothly and results were posted sooner than usual.

“There were minimal issues, nothing to speak of,” said Silva at the end of the night. “All precincts got their results in early, which was a surprise.”