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Two Bridgewater town councilors lose seats in recall election

Two Bridgewater town councilors were removed from office and replaced by their challengers Tuesday, marking the end of a yearlong recall effort by a local group unhappy with the incumbents.

In District 3, Sandra Wright, a Board of Health member and Plymouth County commissioner, secured 879 votes to Councilor Michael Demos’s 730. In District 7, Paul Sullivan, a former town administrator and selectman, gained 570 votes to Councilor Peter Riordan’s 337. 

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The new councilors will take their seats for the first time Tuesday.

The drive to dump Demos and Riordan began in September 2011, initiated by the group Citizens Forum, which viewed the pair as leaders in a power struggle between then-Town Manager Troy Clarkson and the Town Council. 

Initial recall petitions did not meet the town’s bylaw requirements. A second recall drive was launched, with petitions submitted in late February. When the Town Council questioned the legality of a 1990 recall provision being invoked and refused to schedule an election, Town Clerk Ron Adams asked Brockton Superior Court for a ruling. In August, a judge ordered the council to set the election date.

“It was gratifying to find Precincts 3 and 7 were with us in this,” said resident Mel Shea of the election results. “It wasn’t just a small army of a few dozen, but hundreds of voters who supported it.”

Christine Legere

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