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Wood outpolls Haskell in Thurman; Warren Co. Judge John Hall re-elected

Election inspectors (left to right): Edna Clark, Chris Devlin and Candi Schermerhorn check registrations of voters in the Thurman Town Hall, in the Nov. 5 General Election that has commanded considerable regional attention. The inspectors were brought in from outside the town because of voter intimidation allegedly occuring in the Primary.

Election inspectors (left to right): Edna Clark, Chris Devlin and Candi Schermerhorn check registrations of voters in the Thurman Town Hall, in the Nov. 5 General Election that has commanded considerable regional attention. The inspectors were brought in from outside the town because of voter intimidation allegedly occuring in the Primary. Photo by Thom Randall.

— In a dramatic turnaround from the crushing defeat she endured in the Republican Primary, incumbent Thurman town supervisor Evelyn Wood topped former town supervisor John Haskell by a vote of 251 to 228 in election night vote totals.

The results of this contest, perhaps the highest-profile race in the county this year, absentee ballots will be deciding the outcome. Fifty were sent out, and as of Monday Nov. 4, forty were returned.

Wood said after the polls closed she was happy with the outcome, particularly with the very high percentage of the eligible voters casting votes, compared to other towns or regions across the state.

“This is a really high turnout and a real compliment to the people of Thurman,” she said. “I’m awed and thankful for all the support.”

Last year, while Wood had earned praise by many for straightening out town finances and working long hours to direct the effort to recover from the 2012 floods that devastated the town’s infrastructure.

But she sparked strong opposition in late 2012 when she and the town board voted against funding the local ambulance squad which had uncertain finances. Wood and the town board also voted to discontinue municipal trash collection to keep taxes from soaring.

The groundswell of public opposition to these actions filled the town hall with angry citizens, prompting Haskell to run again. The two Republicans faced off in the September G.O.P. primary, and Haskell won with a dramatic 159-78 vote margin.

Regardless of the grim tally, Wood didn’t flinch — she predicted that the independents and Democrats in the General Election would overcome that huge vote gap.

Democrats undoubtedly made the difference in Wood’s election-night victory, as 154 people cast votes on the Democratic line — and there are only 158 Democrats registered in Thurman, which has a total population of only 1200.

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