Mr. Brown Wins Big In Barnstable With 65% Turnout
By: Laura M. Reckford
Voters turned out in great numbers throughout town Tuesday, giving Scott Brown, the Republican from Wrentham, a decisive victory over Attorney General Martha Coakley in all 13 precincts. The final numbers showed an even greater spread than the results statewide with 61.4 percent for Mr. Brown and 37.6 percent for Ms. Coakley in the town of Barnstable.
Barnstable Town Clerk Linda E. Hutchenrider said she was not surprised by the heavy turnout, because of the high number of absentee ballots, over 1,600, that she had received by election day. “Based on that, we knew,” she said.
Although unenrolled voters played a big role in Mr. Brown’s win statewide, the size of the victory means a renaissance for Republicans locally, according to party officials.
Cape Cod Republican Club President Francis P. Manzetti of West Barnstable said, Mr. Brown’s campaign generated 500 additional members to the club, who signed up at Mr. Brown’s Main Street Hyannis headquarters to volunteer.
The vote can be seen as a comment on people’s dissatisfaction with politicians in Washington, Mr. Manzetti said.
“It’s pretty clear, energy is very high. Enthusiasm is high. There’s a lot of anger and displeasure with the way politicians were treating us,” he said.
The fact that Mr. Brown carried every single precinct in Barnstable “is shocking,” Mr. Manzetti said. Even the Hyannis precincts, which traditionally vote for Democrats, he noted.
Mr. Manzetti said he believed voters were motivated by several issues, with healthcare being number one, especially among the large number of senior citizens in town.
The economy, he said, is a close second. Despite the high unemployment, he noted that there was a lack of talk about jobs and the economy among politicians.
A third issue, Mr. Manzetti said was the “lack of transparency” among Democrats in Washington, with “back door deals” that have upset people. “The anger is not being listened to and not being heard by people who represent us,” he said.
Ms. Hutchenrider said the mood on election day was marked by a great number of determined voters. “They were intent on voting. They wanted to get out there, to get to the polls and vote,” she said.
“Voters were energized. They were focused. This particular campaign had really brought out something in people that has been dormant for years: enthusiasm,” Ms. Hutchenrider said.
She noted that in the other elections that took place in town this year, five elections between September and December, turnouts were quite low, often well below 20 percent.
While it is typical that state-wide elections get bigger turnouts, she said that is unfortunate. “Town taxes are generated and decided locally. I really feel town elections are important,” she said.
From West Barnstable (Precinct 11) where 72 percent of voters cast ballots to Cotuit (Precinct 7), which attracted 73 percent of voters, turn out was high throughout town, with four precincts achieving more than a 70 percent turnout. Barnstable Village (Precinct 1) and Precinct 11 in Centerville were the other two.
The lowest turnouts were in the four Hyannis precincts, 3, 8, 9, and 13, which ranged from 43 to 58 percent. The precinct where Ted Kennedy’s neighbors cast their ballots, Precinct 13, favored Mr. Brown by just over 150 votes.
The biggest spread was in Osterville, where Mr. Brown’s supporters led by a 700 vote margin.
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