Town Clerk Carla Vitale is predicting a â€œhigh turnoutâ€ for Tuesdayâ€™s town election with the main event being the race for Town Council President matching incumbent Jeffrey Turco against challenger Peter Gill. There are more than 11,000 registered voters and with good weather being forecast, we expect Winthrop residents to get out and exercise their right to vote in high numbers Tuesday.
There also is an interesting race for School Committee and five ballot questions forwarded from the Ordinance Review Committee, but the spirited Town Council President race has captured most of the attention, with both candidates working hard, getting out and meeting voters, and trying to get their message across.
As our readers know, it has been our long standing policy not to endorse candidates. We also do not make predictions about elections, but we will say that having been out there covering Council meetings, town events, and attending the two candidatesâ€™ campaign receptions, it appears as though it will be a close election.
President Turco surprised a lot of town observers two years ago when he defeated two well-known candidates. Many attributed Turcoâ€™s stellar performance in the 2009 debate as one of the reasons for his victory, believing that he had a good message and that he was able to take that momentum and carry it to the finish line. As the incumbent this time, he had to speak about his two-year record as president and his vision for the future, thoughts which he certainly formulatedÂ very well on live television.
Peter Gill was able to state his message with clarity in the debate and assert that his style of leadership will be different than his opponentâ€™s. And we know from having covered his campaign fundraiser at the Lodge of Elks, that Peter Gill, like Jeffrey Turco, has a lot of supporters backing his candidacy.
Winthrop voters have an opportunity to determine which candidate they want to lead the town for the next two years. The Town Council Presidentâ€™s position is a powerful and important one, as it should be, and as the residents who created the new town charter wanted it to be.
This is a very important election at a crucial point in the townâ€™s history with the construction of a new middle/high school complex just one of the issues that will debated over the course of 2012.
So let your voice be heard and be a part of the democratic process that makes this the great country that it is.