Voters recall three selectmen in Stoughton

By John Laidler Globe Correspondent 

Stoughton voters have recalled three members of the Board of Selectmen, replacing them with three other town residents.

In a special election Dec. 5, board chairman David J. “Spanky” Sousa, Robert M. Cohn, and Peter J. Brown were all recalled. Christine D. Howe, Stephen Cavey, and Richard Hill were elected to their respective seats, defeating the three incumbents, according to Town Clerk Amy Akell.


A total of 3,701 people, or 19.9 percent of the town’s 18,579 voters, cast ballots.

The recall campaign was launched in the wake of the board’s controversial ouster of then-town manager Michael J. Hartman June 30. A group of residents filed petitions with sufficient signatures to require the election.

The ballot featured three separate recall votes, one for each of the selectmen facing recall, and one each on who should fill the seat should the recall succeed. Sousa was recalled by a vote of 1,971 to 1,670, Cohn by a vote of 1,888 to 1,759, and Brown by a vote of 1,891 to 1,717.

Howe defeated Sousa by 2,008 votes to 1,616, while Cavey defeated Cohn by 1,880 votes to 1,704, and Hill outpaced Brown by 1,917 votes to 1,678.

Cavey and Howe are on the Finance Committee, and Cavey is also a Town Meeting member.


Hill is a Town Meeting member and a member of the High School Building Committee and was formerly on the Finance Committee. He lost a bid for selectmen last April.

The three will complete the remainder of the three terms. Cavey’s term expires in 2018, Hill’s in 2019, and Howe’s in 2020.

John Laidler can be reached at