By JAMES NIEDZINSKI
---- — MANCHESTER — Two first-time political candidates — Robert Hoff, Jr., and Eli Boling — have earned seats in Manchester’s Board of Selectmen, beating out veteran School Committee member Ann Harrison in tonight’s town elections to take the slots vacated by current board members Susan Thorne and Mary Hardwick.
Hoff, who said during a debate last Friday morning that he jumped into the race to ensure there was a contest for the two seats, emerged as the top vote-getter with 701, while Boling captured the other seat with 614 votes to beat out Harrison’s 576.
In all, 1,153 of the town’s 3,993 voters went to the polls for a turnout of roughly 29 percent. The town’s voters also gave their emphatic approval to two questions calling for a debt exclusion Proposition 2 1/2 override to acquire and then cleanup the sole remaining Pine Street property that rests atop a former town burn dump.
Hoff works as a marketing consultant, volunteers on the Manchester Essex DECA team as a chaperon as well as a substitute teacher.
“I like Mr. Hoff,” said voter Susan Shuwall. “He’ll balance out the board.”
Boling has served on an emergency dispatch ad-hoc committee and works as a software engineer. Boling also had the endorsement of Thorne, whom, in a letter to the Times last Friday, cited his commitment to the town and his regular attendance of selectmen’s meetings in advance of his run for a seat.
For more on this story look to tomorrow’s print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com. To have text updates regarding this story and other local Breaking News coverage sent to your mobile phone, just sign up for the Times’ free text-alert service on the gloucestertimes.com homepage.
For more up to date coverage, follow the Times news team on Facebook or on Twitter.com @gdtnews.
James Niedzinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.