After all is said and done in a campaign for public office, after the pundits, the supporters, and the candidates themselves have had their say, in the final analysis, every election comes down to the will of the voters who, as often as not, provide more than their share of surprises to all of the aforementioned groups.
There can be no denying that the victory by Peter Gill for the office of Town Council President over incumbent Jeff Turco was a huge upset. It is not something that even could have been imagined six months ago.
Peter’s victory offer a cautionary tale for office holders at all levels of government on many different levels. Substance certainly matters, but so does style, by which we mean the manner in which an office holder conducts himself while in office. It was clear from the election outcome that Jeff Turco’s vision of the role of Town Council President was vastly at odds with the view of the majority of Winthrop voters.
This election also showed that people do care about their government. While the conventional wisdom holds that voters are apathetic at all levels of government, the reality is different, as was shown by the large voter turnout Tuesday.
We wish to congratulate Peter Gill and his campaign coordinators, who ran an outstanding campaign in a race that was one of the most exciting in the town’s recent political history. As political observers know, it’s very difficult to defeat an incumbent and in this case it was a formidable candidate in Council President Jeffrey Turco who had put together a solid record of accomplishments in his two years as the top elected official in town government. Peter was able to put together a strong base of supporters from all areas of the town and “get the vote out” to prevail by a margin of 116 votes.
Peter certainly benefitted from the tremendous support of his family who is well known in the town and has lived here for years. His brother Richard only added to the family’s legacy of service to the town and love of the community during his time as a member of the Town Council. The Gill family has been highly respected in town for a long time and the town’s familiarity with the family certainly was an advantage in the election.
We also wish to thank Jeffrey Turco for his excellent work on behalf of the town and his exceptional leadership of the Council during the past two years. He was a gentleman throughout the lengthy election process and his family can be very proud of his contributions to the betterment of the entire community.
Both candidates conducted themselves in a professional manner throughout the campaign. We recall a brief verbal flurry with President Turco during a Council meeting, but both Peter and Jeff maintained their composure during the exchange and it was a non-issue in the election.
Peter Gill will now begin the process of transitioning to the position of Council President. We are confident that Jeff will assist him well in the process and make a smooth transition so the town can continue to move forward.