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Date eyed for special election

Officials weigh process for filling Council vacancy

Steve Lazo. (click for larger version)
November 23, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — The recent passing of Councilor Laurent McDonald set the stage for another election in what's been a year laden with them.

Under the Charter, the Town Council has 30 days to set a special election date, but eyes are already tentatively focused on Feb. 15, Town Clerk Madaline Daoust said this week.

According to Council Chairman Steven Lazo, the remaining eight councilors will address it at either their Nov. 29 or Dec. 6 meeting. That will depend on talking to the Secretary of State's office.

"If Geraldo Alicea comes up with that one vote, we could have that runoff, so I'd like to see if we can have [both elections] on the same day," Lazo said.

He was referring to the fact Alicea is taking the recent recount in the state representative's race to court over a single "spoiled" absentee ballot. If the court awards that vote to Alicea, the Democratic incumbent, his race with Republican challenger Peter Durant becomes a tie and the court might order a new election.

Lazo predicted the court would make a decision quickly because the new legislative term starts in January. If that happens, he said, he'd like to avoid having two balloting days because those can cost the town up to $8,000 each and some voters might be unwilling to come out twice in winter.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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