By Carol Britton Meyer and Hilary Jenison (all photos by Joshua Ross Photography)
This year's town election was a combination of early, absentee, and in-person voting, which took place today at the Hingham High School and Middle School polls from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with social distancing in place and voters expected to wear face masks.
In all, 2,315 voters cast ballots one way or the other. Town Clerk Eileen McCracken earlier predicted about a 15 to 20 percent turnout, which is typical for most town elections. Early and absentee ballots were due back to the Town Clerk's Office today, June 27.
Here are the results:
Ayer, earing 1,860 votes, and Benham, earning 1,164 votes, came out on top in the three-way race for two school committee seats. The other candidate was Stephanie Gertz with 960 votes. Edward Schreier did not run for another term.
Benham shared on her campaign social media page, including “It was an extraordinarily long race. Each candidate is well qualified and dedicated to Hingham Public Schools. I’d like to congratulate Michelle Ayer and thank Stephanie Gertz. We all put out our best effort, and Hingham is better for it … Thank you – and thank you to everyone who voted – for caring about a quality public education and supporting my candidacy for Hingham School Committee. I encourage everyone in Hingham to attend the school committee meetings, read coverage in the news, and be actively involved in our schools. Hingham is a wonderful community, but it truly does take a village. Thank you for this opportunity. I won’t let you down.”
Ayer shared a statement on her social media campaign page, including “Hingham voters, I am once again honored and humbled to be elected to your School Committee. The past several months have been extraordinary, and the 2020 town election was no exception! Two amazing women ran alongside me and I want to thank Jen Benham and Stephanie Gertz for staying the course and for putting themselves out there in service to our schools and our community. Congratulations to Jen: I look forward to working alongside you on the SC. Stephanie: your commitment, heart, and empathy are going to be relied on in many ways in the months to come, so rest assured, we will look to you for your ideas and your perspectives as we work as a community to improve our schools …”
William Ramsey, who was the sole Selectman candidate for Karen Johnson's seat following Kirk Shilts' recent withdrawal from that race, won with 1,962 votes. Shilts received 220 votes.
In a statement on his social media campaign page, Ramsey shared “I am honored to be elected to the Board of Selectmen. I want to thank my wife Adrienne and my three children for their tremendous support during the campaign. There are numerous campaign supporters who also deserve credit, but I want to especially thank Chuck Culpin for his tireless work and leadership. Born and raised in Hingham, my journey in town service started when I was as a 22-year old law student who took a shot at running for town office in 1998. It culminates tonight with the honor of becoming a member of the Board of Selectman. For those who supported me throughout this marathon of a campaign, thank you. For those who did not, I will work hard to earn your trust and confidence. During the next three years, I promise that I will always listen to your concerns and make every effort to best serve our community.”
Rita Da Silva, who ran unopposed for Ramsey's planning board seat -- which expired this year -- earned 1,781 votes.
The following incumbents ran unopposed: Town Moderator Michael Puzo, board of assessors member Greg Hall, Elizabeth Eldredge of the board of health, Hingham Municipal Light Board member John Ryan, Sewer Commissioner Stephen Harold, Housing Authority member Megan Buhr, and Recreation Commissioner Adrienne Ramsey.
Full election results can be found here.