Wood sworn in, ready to lead Thurman

ATHOL - Early afternoon Tuesday, Evelyn Wood raised her right hand and recited an oath of office in the Thurman Town Hall while her 18-month-old baby Mable watched and chattered in the arms of her grandfather, Steven Wood.

Mable's big sister, five-year-old Catherine broke into a smile as Evelyn's husband Andrew Hall and mother-in-law Diane Wood gave her hugs.

Evelyn Wood, 33, just made history.

She was sworn in as Thurman's youngest Supervisor ever, and only the second female ever to hold the post.

When Wood first announced her candidacy in July, some of the Supervisors on the all-male Warren County Board of Supervisors spoke of whispers that she'd get "eaten alive" by politics either at the town level or by the prevailing political forces in the county.

Political observers predicted that by jumping into the race early and running only on an independent label, the robust Republican majority would crush her at the polls as they voted the straight G.O.P. lineup.

Wood, however prevailed. First, by attending virtually all county government meetings since July, she learned about the myriad, complex issues facing the county.

Then in town politics, she successfully skirted the land-mines of contentious local issues with a positive but assertive middle-of-the-road approach. She put to use the knowledge she'd gained in years of attending so many town board meetings since she was in high school.

Finally, she ran a diplomatic, energetic campaign against the well-known, well-respected Thomas "Tuck" Birdsall, the endorsed Republican candidate who's been a fixture on the local governmental scene for decades.

When the machine votes were tallied on Election Day, she received 235 votes to Birdsall's 214. Ten hours less than a week later, the absentee votes were counted, giving her 17 votes to Birdsall's 24, and the county Board of Commissioners declared her winner and certified the vote.

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