NEWBURYPORT — The city chose to ban retail marijuana sales with about 36.5% of its 14,782 registered voters turning out at the polls Tuesday.

City Clerk Richard Jones said voter turnout was “surprisingly strong and healthy.”

Question 1 saw a margin of 210 votes with 2,567 voting “no,” hoping to allow retail sales, and 2,777 voting “yes,” hoping to ban retail sales.

After the ballot question, the at-large race brought the most attention with seven candidates competing for five seats.

The winners of the five at-large council seats were incumbents Afroz Khan (3,666), Barry Connell (2,741), Joe Devlin (2,654) and Bruce Vogel (2,828) and current Ward 4 Councilor Charles Tontar (2,899).

Others running in the at-large race were Robert Germinara (1,465) and Paul O’Brien (2,086).

Byron Lane (531) beat Sarah Hall (407) in Ward 6. He will replace Councilor Thomas O’Brien, who will be retiring at the end of the year. 

All other City Council races were uncontested: Sharif Zeid, Ward 1; Jared Eigerman, Ward 2; Heather Shand, Ward 3; Christine Wallace, Ward 4; and James McCauley, Ward 5, who is temporarily filling an at-large seat through Dec. 31. The council voted Sept. 9 for McCauley to replace Gregory Earls, who stepped down after 16 years.

Bruce Menin and Sean Reardon won another term on the School Committee following an uncontested race. Also running uncontested for the committee was Sheila Spalding.

Staff writer Heather Alterisio can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3149. Follow her on Twitter @HeathAlt.

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