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Evelyn Wood, Hitchcock win in Thurman

The winner of the race will be sworn in for the Supervisor's post as soon as results are certified by the county Election Commissioners, because the position has been technically vacant since July. Board member Al Vasak is now serving as interim town Supervisor.

The other race Tuesday in Thurman -- the only Warren County town with contested positions -- was for an open seat on the town board. Incumbent town Board member Becky Hitchcock, appointed after Jim Ligon resigned in July, defeated challenger Andrew Knoll, a computer systems administrator, by a margin of 234 to 170.

County G.O.P. Commissioner Mary Beth Casey said late Tuesday night that outstanding absentee and military ballots may be received by her office as late as Nov. 24. Depending on if only few or none are not yet returned, the race could be certified earlier.

Tuesday at about 10:30 p.m. Tuck Birdsall all but conceded after he saw the 235-214 machine vote tally.

"It's pretty improbable for that margin to be turned around," he said, noting that absentee votes generally follow the trend of the machine votes. "Apparently people liked what Evie said better than what I said, and I accept their decision."

Birdsall, known for his wit and diplomacy, added another thought.

"I tried my best, now I wish her the best," he continued.

Wood said that as soon as she's sworn in, her first objective will to be to examine budgets and financial records, as the town had until recently been in financial turmoil. An audit more than a year ago discovered the town had more than $800,000 in funds that town officials weren't even aware of.

Also, Wood said she wanted to settle the issue of the town's ambulance service. Months ago, the Thurman Emergency Services, Inc. lost its Advanced life Support Certification, primarily due to insufficient staffing, and for months the agency had only been responding to a fraction of its calls. Such lack of response prompted the town board to withhold its annual contract payments, a contentious issue that in part led to Pitkin's resignation.

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