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Stony Creek man wins town post without campaigning for it

STONY CREEK - Elections normally spawn heated campaigns dubious promises and tense vote counts.

But in the rural town of Stony Creek, life plays out differently.

Saturday, a full 18 days after the general election, former Stony Creek Highway Superintendent Zackary Thomas was apparently surprised to learn he had won an open seat for town assessor, although he hadn't campaigned for the post.

Thomas won the assessor post by three write-in votes, with no other votes cast for the office.

Thomas learned of his election win when Peter LaGrasse, Chairman of the Stony Creek Board of Assessors, called him Sunday morning, LaGrasse said. Saturday, LaGrasse had heard of the news from town Clerk Susan Harrington.

"I congratulated Zack Thomas Sunday and he reacted with total surprise - he had no idea," LaGrasse said. "I absolutely look forward to serving with him - Had I known that some people voted for him, I would have voted for him as well."

LaGrasse heard about the election win Saturday from Harrington when he dropped into the town hall.

"I wasn't aware there was an opening for assessor on the ballot, and I don't think very many people were aware of it either," LaGrasse said.

At the far right hand side of the Nov. 3 ballot for Stony Creek, a headline said "Assessor - Vote for One," but no candidates were listed underneath. No one had filed with the county to run for the post, which pays about $2,000 per year.

Zackary Thomas had been town Highway Superintendent from the early 1980s up to about 2001 when he was beaten by a slim margin. Since then, he had been an employee of the Hadley Town Highway Department until he retired about six months ago. His uncle is Frank Thomas, who serves as town supervisor.

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