, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 7, 2013

Amesbury elects slew of write-in candidates

In District 2, quirk in law means both council hopefuls lose

AMESBURY — The District 2 City Council seat will be declared vacant in January after no write-in candidates mustered enough support to succeed outgoing incumbent Christian Scorzoni.

Despite being ineligible to retain his seat, Scorzoni was the leading vote-getter in Tuesday’s election with 271 votes, beating out write-in candidates Mary Louise Bartley and Mary Chatigny, who finished with 140 and 125 votes respectively.

Scorzoni had previously been running unopposed for re-election in District 2, but he was forced to pull out of the race last month after his family sold their house to move out of district, making him ineligible to remain District 2 councilor. The announcement came after the official withdrawal deadline had passed, so Scorzoni remained the only name on the ballot.

Because Scorzoni finished atop the polls in District 2, Chatigny or Bartley would have needed to secure 30 percent of the race’s 536 votes to become eligible for immediate appointment to the City Council. Had either candidate finished ahead of Scorzoni, they would have won election to the council outright.

Bartley’s 140 votes were good for 26 percent of the total, while Chatigny’s 125 votes were worth 23 percent.

City Clerk Bonnijo Kitchin said the next step will be for the council to declare the seat vacant at the start of the next term, and the opening will be posted so that any interested resident can submit an application. How long the vacancy will be posted is up to the next council, Kitchin said.

Kitchin said Bartley and Chatigny could both apply for the opening, as could any other eligible residents, but who gets the seat would ultimately be the council’s decision.

Though Scorzoni won’t return to the City Council, he appears to have already landed on his feet, as he won election to the School Committee as a write-in candidate, joining incumbents Peter Hoyt and Thomas McGee, who were the only two names on the ballot.

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