Barrett Tops Mayoral Ticket 3,877 Votes to Wood’s 1,031; Cooper Considers Recount Over 8 Votes

City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett, center, with supporters Terry Desmarais and Raichelle Kallery. (WHAV News photograph.)

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Haverhill City Councilor Melinda E. Barrett was far and away the top vote-getter in yesterday’s mayoral contest, topping School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. by a nearly four to one margin.

Barrett, in unofficial results, garnered 3,877 votes to Wood’s 1,031. Wood’s hold on second place—and therefore a ballot spot in November—remains fragile, however, with third place finisher Guy E. Cooper only eight votes behind. Cooper said he is considering a recount.

Barrett thanked Haverhill voters for their support.

“I am excited and humbled and just thrilled that the voters that came out supported me overwhelmingly and I am very grateful,” she told WHAV.

Barrett said voters recognized her 10 years of experience and “steady hand” as a city councilor, knowledge of the city and extensive local roots as a resident and former downtown business owner.

Wood acknowledged the impact of news stories stemming from his June decision to file suit against the city over the loss of his work as a Haverhill police officer and related revelations found in his departmental background checks.

“There were two tickets out of here. We got one of them. We took a lot of incoming fire in this campaign,” he said.

Wood, who was also a candidate for the Ward 4 School Committee seat, lost that race to newcomer Mikaela Lalumiere, who received 714 votes, and Fred A. Simmons, who pulled in 267 votes. Wood came in third with 239 votes, followed by Courtney Thomas with 193 votes.

Cooper said, while he will await the certified election results, he will challenge the results if the thin margin holds. He also expressed concern about possibly misprinted absentee ballots.

“Once the official vote comes in—if it’s only eight—I am going to demand a recount. Secondly, I just got information that some of the mail-in ballots or absentee ballots came in and only had three candidates on them,” he said.

He explained a resident was surprised to find five mayoral candidates on the ballot after mailing her elderly mother’s absentee ballot that omitted Cooper and candidate Debra M. Campanile.

Wood brushed off the possibility of a recount. “We’re confident. We believe we won. That’s up to the other candidate,” he said.

Voters gave Campanile 263 votes for mayor and George Eleftheriou won 218 votes.

In other election news, incumbent City Councilor Melissa J. Lewandowski topped the Ward 4 city council race with 819 votes, followed by former Councilor Kenneth E, Quimby with 363 votes. Eliminated from the contest was Craig Lambert who garnered 232 votes. In a statement, Lewandowski outlined her philosophy.

“Being an effective public servant, which I have dedicated my personal and professional life to so being, means listening to people, hearing their concerns, translating them into real solutions and working towards consensus to make them happen,” she said.

In Ward 7 School Committee contest, Thomas Grannemann scored 584 votes, while Hunter Rogers took 254 votes. Eliminated from the race was Edward Downer with 225 votes.

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